One of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life was meeting Capt. Mark Kelly earlier this year, sitting down and talking with him for a few moments before he did a press event and then hearing him speak to an audience of thousands about his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
An inspiration in his own right,–Kelly flew combat missions during the Gulf War and later piloted and commanded four space missions–his biggest selling point to me, however, is how he has stuck by his wife’s side in the months to years after her attempted assassination, through what sounds like some of the darkest days when a lot of people would cut and run.
He and Gifford’s autobiography, ‘Gabby,’ is an intimate look into their lives both before and after that fateful day in 2011, which would irrevocably change their lives, many others who were also victims, as well as the nation’s attitude on gun control. Without focusing on political divide, Kelly and Giffords (both proud gun-owners and firm believers in the second amendment) take readers minute-by-minute into that day in Tucson and the many painstaking months of undergoing surgical operations, physical therapy and trying to readjust to a “normal” life that followed.
Mark Kelly was one of the most focused people I’ve ever met. Hearing him speak about Giffords (and later reading his words), with personal stories and anecdotes about recovering from a tragedy, was heartwarming. Theirs is a story of courage, perseverance, love and inspiration.