What Gabby Giffords Teaches On her final day in congress her fragile body, her wide brilliant smile and staccato wave told a remarkable American story. Gabbrielle Giffords who now symbolizes an unsuspecting citizen soldier has shown us all that love, determination and a spirit of goodness conquers all.
She is a woman who’s miraculous recovery from an unspeakable crime has brought a much divided nation to it’s knees and on it’s feet again with wild applause, praise and a look into the mirror of a culture gone awry.
It was the last presidential election that brought out a vice presidential candidate who dared to put another elected official in the cross hairs of her hate filled charted rifle. That act may not have intentionally resulted in the plight of Gabby Giffords, but it put into the public consciousness the knowledge that words have power and when you have a national public platform all words must be chosen carefully. A nation divided does not have to be a nation without moral judgment. A nation divided puts up walls that we as a free society have for generations tried to tear down.
As we watched her limp out of the congressional hall with her best friend Debbie Wasserman Shultz by her side, we are reminded why we can NOT go through life alone. When your life is threatened, it is always your friends and your family, that help bring you back from the brink of despair. We look at her husband Captain Mark Kelly and we see the spouse or the partner that we ALL wish we had. Is there any doubt that it is ‘his’ love that willed this once critically wounded earth angel back to life? Theirs’ is a love that seems to grow stronger with every obstacle and every hurdle of every day. Talk about family values, they practice what other people can only preach and run for an elected office on. Then there is the congress with an approval rating in single digits. Gabby’s leaving inspired unparalleled bi partisan agreement. Her cross boarder drug smuggling bill passed by a margin of over 400 to zero. Imagine if we could get a jobs bill passed, an energy policy agreed upon, a debt ceiling compromise reached in that spirit of cooperation? We might actually move forward as a country and function again as a stable super power in a world that grows more and more dangerous.
Gabby has taught us that a recovery does not come easily. You recover with baby steps. Everything in life worth having takes time. It is THIS time in all of our lives that the story of Gabby Giffords is the story of us all. We are one. We all struggle and we all try to prevail. It is not about Red State versus Blue State, it is about the survival instinct that makes us a group of fifty United States.
Thank you Gabby for all you have taught us. Thank you God for giving her another chance at this inspiring life.