Two Giraffes and a Microwave...

My youngest son's feet get so cold that they feel like little ice cubes at the end of his legs. This has been getting increasingly worse as he has gotten older and taller. When you are in a wheelchair and cannot move your legs much, you just don't have the same circulation in your feet that others have.

One of the things that he loves is a set of giraffes. They are actually warm compress packs that smell like lavender, but he loves to sleep with them. Well, he is especially fond of his sleeping buddy Razzberry. One of our nurses discovered that if you microwave the giraffes and put them on his feet, his feet get very toasty and, frankly, he loves the warmth and smell. I joke that "Two Giraffes and a Microwave" will be the name of my new rock band.

Giraffes are really amazing creatures, if you think about it. Everything about them seems like it shouldn't work. Their neck is disproportionate from their bodies, their legs long and awkward. My youngest absolutely loves giraffes. When we see them at the zoo, his face lights up. They seem to have healing properties for him. Similar to his two giraffes from the microwave.

Giraffes are one of the greatest totem animals. People with this animal totem can be seen to have great vision and are able to see the big picture. Giraffes are a power symbol. Their strong bodies make them able to move quickly and be almost soundless. They are able to store water so they only have to drink once a month and they are always on the look out. When they drop their head to drink, they lose their global vision, and are at their most vulnerable state. Standing tall gives them the ability to elongate their vision.

My sense of affinity for giraffes comes from watching my youngest and having a sense of vision for him. Not many did over the course of his life, but I have not lost sight. This vision involves making a life for not only him, but also other children who are affected by any life altering disability. Having a place to come and find support is essential for children and families.

Each one of us needs to have that ability in our own lives, the ability to feel supported, to be surrounded by others, to have vision. We each don't need to necessarily have a sense of elongated vision, but rather need to have someone in our herd who has that vision. There needs to be strength and a sense of patience. There may not always be a place to stoop down, be vulnerable and drink, so the herd needs to be prepared and look ahead.

We must not allow ourselves to move into a mundane way of life, but rather continue with our head held high using our strong bodies and minds to move us forward. I like to think that at many times in my life I have been the giraffe, looking ahead. Sometimes I get caught in my own space, head down and unaware. That is when I feel that I am at my weakest, but my herd is standing alert during those times to watch over me. I do the same for them. Being part of a herd allows for the ebb and flow of this life. There are times when you stand watch while others you allow yourself to drink the cool waters of life.

Being resourceful, dependable, thoughtful and creative can help build a life that we are proud to live. Find a good herd...live life like the giraffe.

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