America has learned that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been cleared to attend husband Mark Kelly’s space shuttle launch in Florida this Friday. This will be the first time the Arizona congresswoman has traveled since she was flown from Tucson to Houston on Jan. 21st to undergo therapy. This is not the first time Kelly will be launched into the great beyond in a phallic shaped missile.
Giffords, for those of you who don’t remember, was shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner-a troubled soul who is currently being psychiatrically analyzed-who killed six people and injured 12 others at a gathering held outside a local Safeway by Giffords.
In an interview with Katie Couric, Mark Kelly said Giffords’ doctors had given her permission to travel to Cape Canaveral, Fla, for the historic launch of Endeavour (a spelling apparently sympathetic to the redcoats), which is scheduled for 3:47pm, Friday. Mark Kelly is the commander of the shuttle mission.
But let me tell you what Mark Kelly is not: Kelly is not a man who cherishes familial love over ambition. And I don’t blame him. Kelly’s an astronaut, not a nurturer, so the fact his wife was shot in the head, point blank (as they say), on Jan. 8th of this year should not make any difference about whether he stays here on earth to continue to support Gabrielle as she heroically recovers, or he shoots off to space like a shot off a shovel.
“I’ve met with her doctors, her neurosurgeon and her doctors, and…they’ve given us permission to take her down to the launch,” Kelly said in the interview. Currently, Giffords is relearning to talk and walk and to gain the ability to take care of herself again. Her husband, I’m certain, is ecstatic that his brave wife will be in attendance at his shuttle launch, and I’m hoping she will be able to wave her rose colored hankie while the man she is closest to on this earth lifts off for two weeks.
Let me be clear: the fact that Mark Kelly is going to space, and has been intensely training to go to space since February (only a month after his wife was shot), seems rather harsh considering her fragile state. I assume the healing process (mental and physical) would better take place with one’s spouse at one’s side.
Kelly returned to training for this shuttle launch in February, after he took time off to be at his wife’s bedside. Giffords, who has miraculously survived and is well on her way to recovering from her horrific gunshot wound, will no doubt be stressed by the departure of her husband. But remember, ambition over love. Space exploration over terrestrial matrimony.
But I salute Mark Kelly. I wouldn’t stick around on this planet either, if I had an option, even if I was leaving a spouse. I’m too ambitious! Marriage is marriage, but achieving dreams and being a space monkey is forever.
Giffords was in attendance for Kelly’s last launch in 2008. The two were married in 2007.