Update: Rep. Giffords opens her eyes, sees strong women friends and mentors

Representatives Gabrielle Giffords (left), Kirsten Gillibrand (center), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (right).
Courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

In what is one of the most heartwarming moments of this whole tragedy, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes for the first time yesterday. The first thing she saw was her husband and two strong women -- her friends and mentors, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They had been sitting with her, holding her hands, and encouraging her. According to CNN:

Giffords "absolutely could hear everything we were saying," Gillibrand said. "And Debbie (Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida) and I were telling her how much she was inspiring the nation with her courage, her strength, and we were talking about the things we wanted to do as soon as she was better."

Gillibrand mentioned having another night out with Giffords and her husband for beer and pizza. And Wasserman Schultz recounted telling her, "Come on, you've got to get better, because we expect you up in New Hampshire this summer" at Wasserman Schultz's vacation home.

"And just as I said that, that's when she suddenly was struggling to open ... her eyes," Wasserman Schultz said. "First just a little bit. And the doctors couldn't believe it. They said, 'This is such a good time.' "

Wasserman Schultz said:

"The only way I could describe the feeling that we had, that I had, was other than the birth of my kids, this was the most incredible feeling, to see literally your — one of your closest friends just struggle to come back to you, to come back to her family, to come back to her friends. I mean, we know how strong Gabby is and you could see all the strength pouring out of her to touch her husband."

It's exciting to read about how the women's solidarity as some of the few young women in Congress turned into a supportive and nurturing friendship -- one that gave our Congresswoman the strength to overcome.

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Wow... this is just incredible.....so beautiful, so touching....

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Update: Rep. Giffords opens her eyes, sees strong women friends and mentors." 13 January 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 2, 2021) <https://jwa.org/blog/update-gabrielle-giffords-opens-eyes>.

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