On January 8, 2011, a blogger named Ashleigh Burrows was shot in Tucson, Arizona. She had brought her neighbor and friend, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, to meet their congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords.
The tragedy outed “AB,” and now we know that Ashleigh Burrows is Suzi Hileman.
The day after the shooting, “Little Cuter” (the blog name of AB’s daughter) posted about her mom; regular readers of the blog had intuitively known that the woman with Christina was AB, and were concerned. About a week later, AB wrote a post, titled, “What I Know.”
All of us wonder sometimes how people find their way through unspeakable tragedies. Ministers have a vocational interest in this question, because the people they care for ask, “How can I make it through this?”
AB, aka Suzi Hileman, is doing the hard work of answering that question, not in broad generalities, but in the ordinariness of daily life.
In today’s post she writes about how she wants to stay on the couch, completely covered by a quilt, a gift from a well-wisher. But her husband’s smile lures one arm out from under the quilt to answer a phone call, to accept an invitation that leads to A Perfect Afternoon.
I imagine that Suzi will write a book about her experience. She writes well, and her story is extremely compelling. But in the meantime, the writing she’s doing on her blog is an incredible resource, a soul-touching gift.
If your calling is to care for people, if helping people walk through tough times is part of your vocation, then I invite you to walk with AB. Because of her shattered hip, she uses a walker and is building up some amazing muscles. So slow to her pace, and build up some muscles of your own.