What do you think?

Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband, Decides to Fly Space Shuttle Endeavor.

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5 Responses to What do you think?

  1. SKL says:

    I was wondering about this. I don’t think I’m qualified to really weigh in on this decision. I sure wouldn’t do it if there was a chance she could take a serious turn for the worse during the 1 month he would need to be away from his family. However, presumably they are keeping a backup trained and ready in case there is any risk as the takeoff date gets closer. Ultimately there are only 2 weeks (in April) when he will be physically unable to come to her if something unexpected should arise. If her condition is iffy at that point, hopefully he would bow out and let his backup do the job.

    I’m not an astronaut so I really don’t know how important it is for the “right guy” to do this – but they have been training for 1.5 years for this 14-day mission, so that says something. In a way, I’m proud of his decision to continue taking his responsibilities to NASA seriously even though he would probably be forgiven for taking a pass.

    I don’t really hear anything about Ms. Giffords’ condition any more. Does she know this discussion is even going on? He says “she would agree” which implies she hasn’t actually weighed in herself. But he also says she will be at the takeoff. So it’s hard to say. If she herself is supportive of his going, then I think it’s a no-brainer. But if she really isn’t cognizant enough to say, that’s where it would be complicated.

  2. Laura says:

    Well, as for her condition, it was reported on the radio yesterday that she asked for toast with her breakfast, and that, apparently, is a major step. They were unsure if she’d be able to talk.

    Knowing how I do things, it would seem to me that they had discussed something like this previously. Maybe not in the context of, “ok, if you’re lying in a hospital with a gunshot wound to the head, and it’s at the same time that I’m supposed to go on a mission…” More like, “wow, I’ve finally made it all the way to the top, my dream is about to come true.” I would imagine this happened for both of them – she, in her career in politics, and he as an astronaut. So in that context, I would guess that yes, she would want him to go. And the fact that she continues to improve bears well, too. I would like to think that he discussed this situation not only with their families (both immediate – the kids, and extended – his folks and in-laws), but with the medical staff, as well.

    Finally, I’ve heard people discussing this on the radio, and I’ve heard people saying, “well what if something goes wrong with the Shuttle? He could die!” Well, that’s true. But what happens if something goes wrong on his drive home from the hospital? He could die then, too. Life’s a chance. You can’t not reach for your dreams because “something” might happen.

    So I think he should go. If I were his wife, and I knew that not only is this his dream, but that this is his *last chance ever* to do this (because the shuttle program is being shut down), I would encourage him to go. I would not want him to be sitting there, watching me eat toast for those two weeks that he could be in orbit.

  3. mssc54 says:

    With regards to Ms. Gifford’s health (and I intentionally used “Ms.”), what benefit would she realize (medically, emotionally, psychologically) if her husband stayed or went? Does she have the capacity at this time to appreciate either way? If she makes a (somewhat) full recovery what would she have wished for him to have done?


  4. Joy says:

    Well, I don’t think he should go. The main reason being is she seems to respond to him so well and he’s been almost living in that hospital chair next to her bed. Wouldn’t/won’t she wonder where he is? We really don’t know the whole “behind the scenes story.” Does she know everyone? How alert and responsive is she “really”?

    I know that anything in life can happen. I know I could fall down in the shower and hit my head and die but I still quit smoking. I’m not sure I buy the whole “you can get hit by a bus.” I know he could get into an accident on the way home but I have a tendency not to want to tempt the Gods.

    Space seems so very far away. He’s going to be gone for so long. I don’t think this one trip is going to define his career and I worry so much that “if” something did happen to him, who’d be there for her later? We have no idea what’s going to happen with her and they seem to have a love that’s really like a fairy tale. I think had he known or been thinking of doing this he should have spaced his visits and not practically live in that chair next to her bed. He’s been there all along for her and we don’t know what’s in her head and I only worry that “if” something happened, who’s going to take after her?

    What about him? Can you imagine how he’d feel “if” something happened to her while he was gone? He’d most likely never forgive himself for going.

    If it were me, I’d put the big brass ring away until my loved one was more out of the woods. He’s reached a dream. He’s been up there and I think they both need each other now. After all, it’s really just a job.

  5. Phyllis says:

    I think he should feel free to go. They’ve obviously been supportive of each others career choices in the past and since he’s been training for 1.5 yrs for this shuttle trip she’d probably be disappointed for him if he let the opportunity pass simply to sit around and watch her heal. From what I’ve heard on news reports her condition is improving daily. Naturally he should take into consideration the feelings of both their families, but I really don’t see that they would have objections to him going. So, the answer is “go for it”!

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