Monday, January 23, 2012

The Right Stuff

Go ahead. Watch it. Your boss won't mind, I'm sure. Just lean to one side and let her look over your shoulder at those luminous eyes, let him hear that strong and fragile voice.  You'll share a sigh and move on, knowing that you just saw someone do the right thing.

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.


  1. I'd read the news, but not seen the video. Thank-you for sharing it. She is beautiful in every sense.

  2. She is a TRue AMeRiCaN HeRo & a real CLaSs AcT. I was so sad to see this, but at the same time know what a relief this must be for her. ReCoVeRy is a FuLL TiMe JoB.

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  4. Thanks for sharing the video too. I hadn't seen it yet. We happened to be out running some errands yesterday when hubby received the text on his phone. We both were sad, but this is what she needs to do to get better. I'm sure the pressure of returning to Congress was on her mind continuously. In order to focus and fully recover, she needed to take that weight off her shoulders. It takes a remarkable person to care so much about their constituents to do what's best for them too. I'm sure this decision wasn't easy for her.

    I hope she returns to public service. We need people like Gabby.

    Happy Monday.

  5. Wow...the photo of you with CW GiFFoRDs this morning was absolutely PReCiOuS & have me now crying TeaRs of JoY. I would've LoVeD to witness that exchange in person. You are both ReMaRKaBLe WoMeN, AMeRiCaN TReaSuReS & my PeRSoNaL HeRoeS!!! Thank you BoTH for INSPiRiNG me DaiLy. Sending LoVe & LiGHT!!! <3

  6. This country needs more people like her. I don't live in Arizona but I pray that one day she will be able to serve you again.

  7. I will miss her terribly, but I know she's done the right thing, for herself and for us, and that is very selfless. Beautiful post.

  8. I did see this earlier and it brought tears.
    I think she is an amazing, remarkable woman. And yes, I believe she's doing the right thing for herself.
    Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts and for reminding us that life is important.

  9. I saw the twitter photo of both of you and thought, there are my role models for my rehab therapy. Whenever I hit a bump in the road to recovery or feel overwhelmed I have to think of both of you and your positive outlook on your recoveries. Please take care and know that I pray for you and everyone in Tuscon. Thank you so much for writing about your life and sharing just a slice of it with the Internet.

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