Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love Story, U.S.A.

We watched with bated breath, as Gabby climbed, cumbersomely, up to hand her resignation to the Speaker.

Then the long, long, long applause, that never seemed to end. . .

Not a dry eye in the House.

Or my house.

We'd thrilled to see the Leader of the Free World embrace this frail woman at the State of the Union, to the sound of thunderous applause.

Assisted by her Washington "sisters," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords showed the whole world the meaning of courage, clarity of purpose, sense of duty.

Downright American pluck and guts!

She looked like a model in her red jacket, tasteful jewelry and charming smile.

We wanted to stand in front of the TV, join all those pillars of government, clap 'til our own hands were red, join Joe and Hillary and Nancy and John — even Eric Cantor — and Barack in saying — "We haven't seen the last of this extraordinary woman!"

I never met Gabby Giffords. But I'd heard of the Washington triumvirate, the trio of rising leaders of our government - Kirsten, Debbie and Gabby. And decided to follow their careers, an unknown, unseen devotee.

When Gabby was shot, that fateful day last year, I wanted to yell... "Don't go, Gabby!!! We need you!!!"

Through the days of complex surgery, the induced coma, the horrors of skull removal, the agony of rehab, the twilight zone of — would she make it...

Would she walk, talk, smile, laugh, cry again???

We stood arm in arm with Mark Kelly, as the former astronaut kept vigil by his wife's side.

Days became weeks.

Then months.

And now, years.

Into what is still an unknown, uncertain future.

The Olympian climb back — the naked badge of courage — the strength to climb out of hell to the land of the living. . .

Then, as we watched her struggle to walk, ever so slowly, in that historic hall, we knew Gabby had her mojo back!!!

God bless you, Congresswoman Gabby!

We - luv - ya, kid!

T.J. Straw

P.S. The Navy has named its newest combat ship after Gabby. The 3,000 ton ship, an Indepdendence Variant Littoral, will be the USS Gabrielle Giffords, named after someone "who has become synonymous with courage."


  1. Bravo!!! This is a wonderfully written tribute to Congresswoman Gabby!!! She truly is amazing!!! Great job, Thelma!!!!

  2. I'm behind on my blog reading, but wanted to commend you for your excellent post. Gabrielle Giffords is truly a heroine! Thank you for honoring her.