By Mariah Pulver
TUCSON, Arizona, U.S.A. -- Devastating. Heart wrenching. Life changing. These are all words to describe the fateful day of January 8, 2011. It may not mean anything to you, but to Gabrielle Giffords and everyone in Tucson, Arizona, it does.
Giffords, a veteran congresswoman, calls it “that horrible day."
And the aftereffects of that day – when a gunman killed six people and nearly murdered Giffords -- just keep coming. Today, Giffords announced that she is resigning from her position in Congress to continue recovering.
As a sympathetic admirer of Giffords, I understand and fully support her decision. But as a voter, I am sad. She has done great things for Arizona and it is apparent that she loves representing the people of Tucson.
Giffords has consistently been receptive to the needs of the people. Instead of shying away from the tough problems, she tackled them head on. That can be shown by the fact that she fearlessly fights for her beliefs about border security, energy independence, military families and veterans, and small businesses.
To know that someone is going to have to take her position is upsetting. That person will undoubtedly be highly qualified and a great person. But he or she will be no Gabby, as Tucsonans affectionately refer to her.
Although I will feel guilty when I cannot put down her name on my ballot, I understand her desire. Underneath it all, Giffords is just a normal human being who needs time to heal, to remember, and to spend time with her family.
Giffords has already made progress, which is unexpected, but miraculous. If you go to her website and watch her video announcing her resignation, I promise you will be amazed. She is speaking very clearly and is better able to express her thoughts. You could also see her progress on January 2, when she led the Pledge of Allegiance at a memorial vigil.
Progress is wonderful, but she still has more work to do. She doesn’t need people pushing her to take back her position in the House of Representatives when she is clearly not ready. Nobody should expect her to be ready for that.
Instead, we should all send her our thoughts. We should let her know just how much she means to us.
And most importantly, we should tell her that we are all there for her, every step of the way.