Though we've glimpsed it only in bits and pieces -- an image of her hand clutching a loved one's, her husband's tributes, reports of her first words, a brief public appearance -- so many of us have been riveted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' remarkable recovery since she was shot in the head at close range that fateful day in Tucson while meeting with constituents.
No matter how remotely, we feel we've come to know Giffords' indomitable spirit, her perpetually positive outlook, her bright smile.
Now, Gabby (don't we all feel we can call her that?) has given her first sit-down interview since the deadly rampage and released footage documenting her recovery to ABC News' Diane Sawyer.
The interview won't air until Monday, and in it Sawyer promises to provide some answers to all those questions about whether or not Giffords will resume her political career.
But in one of the advance clips ABC has released, Giffords' mother says something that puts all the will-she-won't-she political speculation in perspective: "I think Gabby's got a message now that exceeds the political one."
Gabby's mom is so right. (Those mothers, so wise.) Giffords now stands for something that goes way beyond political party. Watching Giffords' painstaking -- yet at the same time miraculous -- recovery, her determination in the face of daunting odds has been incredibly inspirational. It has taught us all, no matter how we define ourselves politically, so much about what people -- what strong (and strong-willed) women -- are capable of.
Whether or not Giffords returns to the political fray and continues her efforts to change the world through those efforts (oh, wait, spoiler alert: apparently, in her forthcoming book, Giffords vows to return to Congress), she has already changed our perspective, step by hard-won step, word by carefully uttered word. If Giffords can come back so powerfully from all she's been through, perhaps we can find the inner strength to withstand whatever life throws at us as well.
Are you inspired by Gabrielle Giffords' recovery?
Image via bill85704/Flickr