I was very interested in seeing the Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly interview on 20/20 Monday night. I knew it would be an inspiring report but I was not prepared for my emotional response to their story. Shortly after the start of the show, I felt the tears welling up and by the second commercial, I was literally sobbing. Now I admit I’m an easy mark…I’m known to get a little weepy over Folgers commercials (you know the one when the older brother comes home early from college for the holidays and surprises his younger sister when she smells the coffee he is making and they visit over a cup of joe before their parents join them in the kitchen? Classic!) and old reruns of “Little House On The Prairie” that I’ve seen more than a couple of dozen times (those darn heart to heart moments between Pa Ingalls and Half-pint get me every time!!!). So, yes, it doesn’t take much to get me reaching for the Kleenex box but I was quite surprised at how deeply I was moved by the remarkable progress Congresswoman Giffords has made since being shot and surviving severe brain injury just 10 months ago.
I’m not even sure what I got so emotional over…it was a well constructed report and the producers did a good job of building the story for the maximum emotional response but my response was less about the content and more about the images…I was fixated on the hospital video clips that showed the Congresswoman’s trach and her all-too-familiar medical supplies( I couldn’t help but compare them to what Rudy uses) and then was struck by the image of her in the interview looking bright and beautiful with barely a scar where the trach used to be. I was mesmerized by the familiarity of hearing her first whispered words (similar to Rudy’s) as she relearned not only how to talk but how to talk with a trach (!) and then contrasted that image with her animated responses to Diane Sawyer’s questions. Although the circumstances of her journey are vastly different from Rudy’s, there is much in her story that I can relate to and I couldn’t help but be profoundly encouraged. I have a new favorite quote that came out of the special. It wasn’t clear to me if the quote came out of their new book or was part of Diane Sawyer’s scripted report but it went like this… Their story is about “the courage you need when the life you live is not the life you planned and you learn there have to be many definitions of ‘a beautiful day’”. Yes, yes…so many definitions!!
On a much smaller scale, I hope we can be that kind of encouragement to others too. I was in Kmart the other day with Rudy and the cashier peppered me with a handful of very direct questions about Rudy while he rang up my purchases. He was visibly disturbed when I quietly explained that Rudy was born with half a heart. He stumbled through his next few sentences and as he finished processing my payment, he apologized for being too intrusive to which I replied “No, it’s okay. I don’t mind, besides, it’s important you know you just played peek-a-boo with a miracle!” The smile that came over that cashier’s face was priceless…I was smiling too and that’s not something I do very often in our Kmart. Oh, that God would bring more and more encouragement…and not only an abundance of encouragement for ALL of us but also the ability for us to recognize it and be touched by it when we do recognize it which will then inspire us to do more than we think is humanly possible. Thank you for being that kind of encouragement to us for so long. We are so grateful!
Speaking of videos and progress and talking and miracles…check out our little school boy reciting his abc’s!!!!!!: