In a political environment filled with vitriol and blather, Congresswoman Giffords gives us two minutes of warmth and promise. Barbed wire never looked this good.
If wishing could make it so, this video would be Gabrielle Giffords announcing her return to Congress. If determination and grit and will were enough... if there had been .....if only. Alas, as Gabby says, we can't change it.
In between football and Joe Paterno and Marky Mark at the movies, Amster received a text and an email and JannyLou left me two messages. The news was traveling like wildfire. I sat in the dark booth at lunch, eyes pressed to a smartphone, as my Congresswoman said goodbye.
She belongs to herself and to her husband now. The piece that she shared with her constituents is closed to us now. She has no obligations, no responsibilities, no duties to perform. She has one job and one job only - to heal. Her path is long and rocky and requires her focus. The journey cannot be rushed, only coaxed along, urged to move onward in a positive direction. Time will tell. Until then, and from then on, she must be vigilant in protecting her gains and resisting the losses.
Having heard this message quite often over the past 13 months, I know it's not easy to integrate. It took Gabby as long as it's taken me to figure it out, it seems. Coming to terms with what you cannot do right now no matter how much you want to do it and want to do it as well and as simply as you were able to before... well, it's a big one to swallow.
I'm all bent out of shape over hiking and gardening and heavy lifting. No one but my family and friends is affected by my inability to perform in those arenas. My heart aches for Gabby, whose decisions reverberate in households all over the county. It's tough enough to handle within the confines of your inner circle, but when governance is involved there's another layer entirely. When she's not at work, neither is my civic voice.
So, take your time, Congresswoman. Concentrate on the things your therapists suggest and don't worry about us. We'll be fine. Relax into your early 40's with an emphasis on re-establishing yourself on firm footing and come back to us when you're ready. We'll be there, just as we are now.
In the meantime, thanks for those smiles at the end of your video. I'm hitching my spirits to yours, if you don't mind.