So, while her life before the shooting (which, unfortunately, will be forever her frame of reference) was inspiring in its own, all-American right, the 20/20 special on Giffords made something very, very clear to me: the most spectacular thing she may ever do is recover, teaching the world that the unthinkable is possible with enough determination and that hope and courage are not follies to be easily dismissed. Her attitude, strength and courage in the midst of it are the most remarkable part of the equation. Likewise, though the many therapists and friends who have helped her along the way will not marry astronauts or serve in Congress, the difference they have made in her life and the gifts they have given her are nothing short of mind boggling in their level of inspiration.
Because Diane Sawyer's interview with Giffords and her family was so moving, I wanted to highlight the number of different reasons to take stock and give thanks that I encountered in the process of watching it:
#179: Her incredible determination to overcome this, even when she knew what to say but couldn't say it and had no idea what had happened.
#180: Her husband's incredible determination to see her through this. He remarked that the "in sickness and in health" vow is one that he takes very seriously, and this much is obvious.
#181: The idea that the action that set her husband's mind in the right frame of reference every day was to "take a deep breath and focus" when he walked into the hospital to be her primary support system.
#182: This line -- "Optimism is a form of healing; hope is a form of love."
#183: The idea that she had to learn to live her life in the way that it unfolded and find the courage to go on when it was so far from what she had planned.
#184: This line, in response to her day-to-day struggle to find beauty and reason to go on -- "There have to be many definitions of a beautiful day."
I also want to highlight additional reminders I've been confronted with over the last few days:
#185: A line in the Rolling Stones interview with Ryan Adams, describing him as "fulfilled but eager for whatever's next." There are so many good things about this quote: the fact that he's fulfilled and presumably living in the moment, which is difficult in and of itself; the idea that he has hope for the future; and the idea that he's not wedded to one idea of what may happen in the future. He's open to "whatever" the possibilities. My goal is to develop a peace about me that would enable you to use these words to describe me.
#186: A new Hallmark commercial featuring a soldier away from his family at Christmas but in receipt a book that included audio of his daughter reading it to him. We all must focus on what we do have this Thanksgiving and holiday season.
#187: Martina McBride's performance at the CMAs of her new song, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." This has been my motto as Mr. Wonderful has struggled through this period of loss and sadness. My favorite line -- "I know that you're afraid, and I am, too. But you'll never be alone, I promise you."
That's it for today.