This is a scene I’ve seen plenty of times... but in many different forms.
A young me, maybe 8 years old at a Backstreet Boys concert. It was pouring down rain, we ran into the mall and you bought a red jacket for yourself and one for me so we wouldn’t be absolutely soaked. You told me again just the other day that the only reason you survived that concert is because they played The Rolling Stones the entire time before the concert and during intermission.
A still young, but older, 5th grader me, at a Rolling Stones concert. Yes, I’ve seen The Stones and yes, I loved every minute & sang along to every song. That’s a concert I’ll never forget.
• “Faith has been broken, tears must be cried. Let's do some living after we die”
A teenage me driving around in the Jeep, with you forcing me to memorize the words to “Open All Night” by Bruce Springsteen. A song I listen to often today.
• “hey ho rock n roll deliver me from nowhere”
The one day you played me “Never Needed It More” by Chris Smither and asked me what it meant to me. At that point I said it sounded like he had found a dog, but today I have a slightly different opinion - it means so much more.
• “If love is the meal for the hunger you feel, call for the waiter”
Or the day you made me dance with you on your balcony to several songs & it dang near made me cry the whole time!
I’m pretty sure I’m the only person I know besides you that knows every word to “1952 Vincent Black Lightening” by Richard Thompson. What a dang good song it is. It’s a shame more people don’t have it memorized.
• “And I don’t mind dying but for the love of you”
But my favorite day... The day I cried as you pushed me around the dance floor on my wedding day to “Love and Happiness” by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris.
• “you’ll always have a lucky star, that shines because of what you are”
Last night it was something as simple as a small venue in Sarasota, listening to the Resonant Rogues. Watching you bob your head along, tap your foot to the beat.
• “We know your road has been long, so please sit with me and sing your favorite song”
From John Prine to Hank Williams III, Led Zeppelin to Jason Isbell, Prince to Johnny Cash. You’ve played it all. You taught me that good music could heal the most broken hearts. It can brighten the darkest days... but so can you, dad. You’re my constant, no matter how hard my day is. Every time I get in my car, a song comes on that reminds me of you and makes me smile. Thank you for teaching me good music. Thank you for constantly opening my ear to something new - but most importantly, thank you for being you.
As always, Tanna Carter Photography has rocked our pictures. One of my favorite parts of Christmas time is getting Christmas cards in the mail so I can see everyones growing families! My mom and I have always done a photoshoot around Christmas time, but this is by far my favorite shoot we have ever done. Tanna is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see the magic she works on our wedding day!
I attended an Indian wedding with my mom a few weekends ago, and I’m positive that I got to experience something that a lot of people will not get to in their lifetime. I met people – good people, kind people, genuine people. I got to see them celebrate love, family, happiness, all in their own very special way. It might be the most extravagant wedding that I have ever attended, it was out of the world. From the flowers, to the clothing it was all so beautiful.
We woke up at about 9am, and then went to the grooms walk at 10am. We were celebrating his side, because he is a doctor that my mom knows and loves. All of his family and friends gather around him, they play music and pray and we danced down this hallway. There wasn’t a face that wasn’t smiling or laughing in the crowd. The brides side of the family welcomes him at the end, and they pray again and performed certain rituals that they practice in their religion.
Next, we went in to the ball room for their wedding ceremony… I do not speak any other languages, so there was a lot of the ceremony that I did not understand the actual words – but there is not a single person who was there that did not feel the love. I set next to another Indian woman who explained each and every detail to me (I had lots of questions.) Their ceremony was gorgeous, and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a family bond like the one I saw here.
After the ceremony, we went to lunch. My mom introduced me to many of her friends, some new and some old. But, she introduced me to another Indian doctor and his wife. When I first met them, I immediately felt their warmth. Something that you experience rarely in this day and age.
We got to talking about their daughter, who I found out had been bullied because of her skin tone and the way she looks. I don’t remember her exact age, but she was under the age of 13. I just thought to myself, how can someone bully a child that came from two people like her mom and dad? I can’t tell you how kind these people were. The type of people when you look at them, it’s hard not to smile.
The wife was between the age of 30 and 40 years old and she might be the most genuine person I have ever met. One of those people who truly cares about people, and shows it. When I was first introduced to her I noticed that she had a gorgeous dark complexion, with long black hair pulled back into a pony tale, and dark eyes. She was dressed in a beautiful sari that must have taken someone 10 years to make.
I ended up going shopping with her – she needed earrings for the reception, and I needed shoes. We got stuck in traffic on the way to the mall, and ended up having a lot of time to talk. We talked about lots of things, religion, children, bullying, love, parents, fashion.. I would tell her a happy or funny story and we would laugh so hard – those deep belly laughs you know? I would tell her a sad story and her eyes would well up with tears. She gave me advice like I had known her my whole life. She treated me like I was one of her own – she just cared. She listened to me, she valued my opinion, she did not judge or stereotype, she was open and she was honest. She radiated warmth, kindness, happiness, and love – I hope that I can make one person feel like I care the way she did for me that day.
The sad part, this lady that I met, and who became my friend, is of the same decent that a numerous amount of people in this country hate, stereotype and bully. If you know me, you know that I stand up for what I believe in, and I protect those who I care about. I guess that’s what this post is really about… standing for what you believe in.
I believe that regardless of a person’s skin tone, religion, hair color, how they look or what they believe in that they can be an amazing human being that I would be proud to call a friend.
I believe that every person deserves a chance to show you who they are before you judge or stereotype them.
I believe that words hurt.
I believe that some people really need to think before they comment on a persons skin tone, race, or religion and say “they must be this” or “they must be that” without knowing a single thing about them.
I believe that I can have different beliefs than a person and still love them.
I believe that I can be a different color than a person and still love them.
I believe that racism is a very real thing that needs to be stopped.
I believe that there is evil in this world. That evil comes in white, black, brown, yellow, red, purple – it is not in the form of a religion, or race. It is in the form of man. Any religion or race has evil, but why should that make you judge them as a whole?
I believe that we all bleed red. On the inside we look the same. We all make mistakes, and none of us are perfect.
I believe that regardless of who you pray to, or if you don’t pray at all – good people have a common goal: to be good, to do good, and for the world to be a better place.
I learned one of the biggest lessons that I will learn in my life that weekend… That is to love people. Step out of your comfort zone, get to know someone. Who knows? You might stumble upon some of the best people you will meet in your life.
I’d like you to take a step back and think about how good these people made me feel this weekend. Think about the warmth, love, and kindness they showed me and the other people around them. Isn’t that something that all of you would like in your life?
Think of my friends. Throw the stereotypes out the window. Be a better you.
Ya’ll, I’m in love! I have to give all the credit to Tanna Carter with Tanna C Photography, I have used her several times and every time it gets better and better. She makes you feel comfortable, she is funny, sweet, prompt, and a photog genius! She is great with children, and animals too… You get amazing quality for a very reasonable price. There were over 100 photos but these are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to walk down the isle, and say “I do” to that sweet man of mine!
Tanna is on facebook & instagram – @TannaCPhotography