November 19, 2011

Giraffes and Such

Isn't this the most beautiful creature?

I have had a fondness for giraffes ever since I can remember. When I was a babe-in-arms, my parents would lay me in my crib for sleep, and tuck me in with a little stuffed animal. I loved that little guy! It was a (can you guess??) GIRAFFE!

You see, Dad had been disabled at the end of World War 2, and he had spent part of his healing and rehabilitation at a Veteran's hospital in Georgia, then had a transfer to the Veteran's hospital in Allen Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Through an interesting series of "circumstances" (which I don't believe in, if you haven't guessed by now) my parents met while he was hospitalized. They courted, married, and VOILA! there I was 3 years later.

Part of Dad's rehab was occupational therapy. One product of the time spent in therapy was the little stuffed giraffe in my crib.

This sweet little creature had been stitched by Dad's two hands in yellow cotton cloth, it had brown felt spots sewn on here and there in a random pattern, and I wish I could recall if it had button eyes or not! No matter.

I believe I imprinted on that little stuffed giraffe, made by my dad's own hands, loved until it fell apart and couldn't be salvaged.

When I had the opportunity to snap the photo above while I was visiting in Zambia, in that same instant I thought of the events which lead up to my dad serving in the US Navy, the events which led to my mom being introduced to him in 1950, their subsequent marriage, children, all the life events in the ensuing years, departures of loved ones (including dad), and then how in the world I came to be in Africa in the first place.

God "works in mysterious ways". Mysterious to us who are simply humans, perhaps. But never mysterious to His purposes.

I now find myself on the verge of new adventure. Every dawn brings breathless anticipation.

I have no doubt that life will come full circle once again, and put me face-to-face with another "giraffe".

God is so GOOD!

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