I, like many Southern Arizonans, was left heartbroken after watching Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' resignation video on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Many of us have been holding out hope that sooner rather than later, Gabby would return to work. She'd be back in Washington, D.C., doing what she's always done—reaching across the aisle to get things accomplished. She'd be back on the campaign trail, showing up at public events and ... well, being our congresswoman.
That video dashed all of those hopes. For now, at least.
All of us, I think, got a bit too caught up in the never-ending parade of happiness and hope that's been released regarding Gabrielle Giffords' recovery. From the moment when President Barack Obama informed the world that Gabby had opened her eyes for the first time since she was shot, through her surprise appearance on the House floor to vote for the debt-ceiling increase last summer, to her enthusiastic Pledge of Allegiance on the one-year anniversary of the shootings, all of the news coming out about Giffords has been good. She's recovering. She's getting better.
The Sunday announcement of her resignation was really the first "setback," of sorts, that those of us rooting her on have witnessed. We were forced to deal with the fact that although Gabrielle Giffords is recovering and is much, much better, she's not well enough to be our congresswoman. At least not yet—and that was a heartbreaking realization.
But we need to take a step back, and put things into perspective. Imagine this: If somehow, one year ago, we could have seen this same YouTube video, showing Gabrielle Giffords talking, smiling and looking like ... well, Gabby, how would we have felt?
We would have been beyond elated. We'd have been ecstatic.