No one knows when life will change in an instant--but when it does, it's important to have role models to look up to, to bring us hope, to give us something to hang onto. One woman has been an example to the masses. Her story is one of tragedy to triumph, of horror to miracles. Rep.has shown the world, recovery through unthinkable circumstances is attainable.
Ms. Giffords, after being shot in Arizona last year, became a picture of strength, a portrait of never giving up--an inspirational person. Sunday, brought even more of a change of course for her when she made the decision to step down from her position in Congress so she could attend to her recovery.
“I don’t remember much from that horrible day. But I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice,” Giffords said in a video posted on her campaign Web site and above. “I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.” Her significant life-change took place just over a year ago on Jan. 8, 2011.
"Congress on Your Corner" was the name of the town hall type event where a gunman opened fire on 19 people. Six of them died, but Ms. Giffords lived through it, but not without major brain trauma. She's proven to be quite a fighter, as she has made steady progress with extreme rehabilitation therapy where she had to learn to walk and talk all over again.
Currently, Giffords is planning on attending President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, and her office released that she will “finish her Congress on Your Corner event that was interrupted by a gunman.”
Because Rep. Giffords is a political leader, the world has witnessed the step-by-step recovery through the many articles written and television shows produced which highlighted her story. With her determination, she has shown the world that even though obstacles may get in our way, we must go forward, we must fight even if all our plans must be adjusted to fit our new condition.
Many individuals get into car wrecks, sporting accidents or are also a victim to crimes committed against them. It is powerful to have a leader to follow as an inspiration to help people not feel like they are the only one going through such a trial. Ms. Giffords has truly been an example of bravery and commitment to the power of the human spirit to fight the good fight no matter what unexpected event may turn our world as we knew it upside down.
Many of Rep. Giffords' collegues had praise for her on Sunday, here are a few:
Democratic Party chairman of Arizona, Andrei Cherny, said, "Gabby Giffords' tenacity and generous spirit have always made her the example of what is best in Arizona. As she said today, nothing can change what happened last January. But in her time in public life, she has changed Arizona and America for the better. As she continues her work on her recovery, I have no doubt she will also continue to work for and inspire all of us in so many ways in the years to come."
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said, "Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all."
From Twitter, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tweeted: "We salute Rep. Giffords for her service, & for the courage & perseverance she has shown in the face of tragedy. She will be missed."
Video gallery of Gabrielle Giffords' journey here
Gabrielle Giffords' website: A Message from Gabby
Washington Post, Rep. Giffords retiring from congress