|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
To watch Giffords’ Thursday performance at the DNC is to see her limping as she navigates her way to the stage, aided by her friend, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. To watch her hold her right hand in her left as it rests over her heart. To hear her struggle over the word “indivisible.” To look upon a radically changed person. But that’s not what made her appearance so dramatic.
It’s that the most palpable change in Gabby Giffords is that the woman who was once called the most positive person in Congress now seems, impossible though it may sound, even more positive. No, she didn’t resemble the energetic young woman of years past. But she appeared utterly radiant with delight. She looked so damn happy. Happy to be standing in that room, gratefully accepting the cheers flowing her way. Happy to be able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Happy, as well, in the words themselves. Watch her performance. Watch how she takes a rote speech we’ve all droned our way through and makes it a declaration of love. And that is what made it rain on your face Thursday night.
The best that anyone who has ever been through something utterly life-shaking can hope for isn’t to come back from it. It’s to go forward. It’s to take the most unthinkably horrible things that have happened to you and keep digging until you find whatever nuggets of pure, shimmering joy that are hidden within them. It is to take the absolute worst events in your life and use them to bring out not just your best, but the best of those around you. It is to struggle mightily, but to struggle, always, toward the light. It is to embody Elizabeth Warren’s passionate declaration that “People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die — and that matters. That matters.”