Today, I am grateful for Gabby Giffords. Did anyone catch the Diane Sawyer interview last night with Congresswoman Giffords and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly? What I loved most about the show was that it wasn't so much about the congresswoman and astronaut part. They are two amazing people with strong spirits and deep love for each other.
It occurred to me that so much of getting through the tough times in life involves who you have by your side. Mark knew that Gabby loved having goals and deadlines so he put her sneakers in a chair next to her bed and told her that she had two weeks to get them on. He bargained with God that if Gabby would just talk, he didn't care if she never walked another step.
Gabby's progress has been astounding. She DOES walk, though slowly. She DOES talk, though her vocabulary is still very limited. But the important thing is that she's working hard and still making progress.
There were a few examples during the hour of times when you could tell Gabby was cognitively aware and just unable to find the proper words to express herself. On a much smaller scale, I've experienced that with my migraines. I know what I mean and I just can't retrieve the words I need to convey it to anyone around me. I agree with Mark's sentiment - I'd rather than be immobile than unable to communicate.
Watching Gabby and Mark last night made me think a lot about perspective. I lose my words sometimes. Gabby has been working to recover hers for months and still has a long path ahead. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the things going on in my life - but I can walk to the mailbox without giving it any thought at all. Seeing Gabby's determination and Mark's support gave me an overwhelming feeling of if they can do that, I can certainly do this.
Starting today, I'm going to try doing a lot more of this with a much better attitude. Thank you, Gabby and Mark for the important lesson. I hope she will continue to defy the odds and find those words she's so desperately seeking.