Frontline Mom

A Story of Courage – Gabby Giffords

February 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently watched a multiple tissue program on 20/20 profiling Gabby Giffords and her new book A Story of Courage authored with her husband astronaut Mark Kelly. Roughly one year ago a tragedy struck that stunned the nation and hit me particularly hard. On January 8, 2011 the democratic congresswoman was critically injured while speaking at a Town Hall outside a supermarket by a gun-wielding twenty three year old, Jared Loughner. In total six people died and thirteen were wounded. Among the victims was a nine year old girl, Granddaughter of former Cubs manager Dallas Green, who had poignantly enough been born on 9/11.

Since then Representative Gabrielle Gifford’s year of recovery has become a tale of endurance and resiliency that’s inspired the nation. The 20/20 episode featured tear-inducing interviews with Gabby and her husband and footage of Gabby tenaciously going through rehab and relearning how to speak and walk. I enjoyed learning about the role music was playing in her recovery and was inspired by the support her family and medical team provided – showing what great support network is all about. I can’t imagine the journey Gabby is going through but I feel connected to her and inspired by her. We both are Fulbright Scholars and I am inspired by her political leadership, charm and commitment to public service. And being married to an astronaut is pretty much the stuff of Fairy Tales! One of Mark Kelly’s tributes to his wife was inviting Bono to sing “Beautiful Day” at a concert while a proud Mark Kelly beamed in on video from outer space.

Exactly one year later, Gabby Giffords returned to the same venue in her hometown, but this time it was to commemorate those who were lost and to demonstrate, along with everyone present, bravery and strength in the face of tragedy and adversity. More recently, I was saddened to hear that Gabby resigned for her seat in Congress. In a rare moment of unanimous applause by Congress Gabby submitted her resignation letter to a crying John Boehner.

Some might consider it defeat, but this past year has really been Gabby’s comeback. She has vowed to get better and return to Congress but in my book, she has returned. She’s a profile in courage and an inspiration from here to the stars.

Who are your living heroes?

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