Who: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
What: Unbelievable Strength, Hope, and Love
If you want to hear a story of true, compassionate love, you need to hear about Mark and Gabby. Gabby was a bright, enthusiastic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s 8th District. She was known for being extremely personable with people and sometimes walked ten hours a day just to meet others. Gabby married Mark, a U.S. Navy Captain and American astronaut. The two were living their productive lives when the unthinkable happened. Gabby was shot in the left side of her brain by a 22-year-old. In the incident, 6 others were killed.
Less than 10 percent of people with brain damage like Gabby’s survive. If the bullet went any further or went on any other angle, Gabby would have died or suffered extreme losses (such as speech). She did lose her ability to speak, walk, reason, etc. but that wasn’t enough for her husband Mark to give up on her. Mark wouldn’t give up on Gabby and displayed what I consider to be one of the most beautiful forms of love ever. This is one of those real-life love stories that completely puts Twilight and other love movies to shame. In fact, no love movie should really be put on the level of these two.
Mark wouldn’t give up on Gabby. One of the most beautiful examples of Mark’s love was how he did things according to how Gabby would do them if she had the ability too. He treated her as if she was still completely there. He knew she loved setting goals–so he began helping her set goals, daily. Just two weeks after the incident, Mark set her running shoes and clothes across the room on a chair–in perfect sight for Gabby. He told her in two weeks, she was putting those shoes on and they were going walking-NO EXCUSES. And you want to know what? She did. He also would place both of the two’s wedding rings in her hands for her to play with-just as she did before the accident. Now this is incredible alone but they way Mark composed himself throughout the process was another thing.
Hope is a form of love. -Mark Kelly
He insisted on everyone who entered the room to display the same lifting attitude. He put up a sign that said “No crying” on her door and urged people to laugh and smile. He told Gabby she was beautiful. He practiced phrases with her everyday and had her try to fill in the missing word. He smiled with her as she struggled pronouncing anything but the word “spoon.” When he was in the room and ready to breakdown, he didn’t—he would pull himself together because he knew if Gabby was in his shoes, she would do the same. Everyday he would urge her to talk but most importantly beg her to smile. He reminded Gabby daily saying, “We can beat this.”
This is what wedding vows mean. -Mark Kelly
Mark has nothing but great things to say about his wife and to this day still remains in completely in love with her. Gabby can talk and understand things much better now, much thanks to her incredible husband.
So here’s the thing, you need to watch this entire documentary/interview done by Diane Sawyer. I’ve attached the clips of some of my favorite parts from the story above and I promise you that you’ll be moved even by watching just short clips. The strength and love of these two is unbelievable and they hope they have together is unreal. There’s no way that an action of an irresp0nsible 22-year-old will ruin life for these two people. In fact, if anything, they prove to the world that hope and love can prevail anything. Mark Kelly has not only changed the world in space and in the military, he has also stirred up conversation and set the standard for the role of a husband. His message and example is even shouted down from his space-craft above earth as he says “I love you, Gabby.”