David and I got married, over a decade ago, at a small resort in the north Georgia mountains. Neither one of us were very picky about wedding details. In fact, the only things we both voiced an opinion on were that we wanted an outdoor ceremony, to keep it on the smaller side, and to have a live band. So I started digging into band research in the Atlanta area, but one band kept surfacing in my mind as the perfect choice- Banks and Shane.
Banks and Shane is a high energy band that brings all ages together and has them dancing to party favorites as well as memorable ballads. They started out in the Atlanta area and have been traveling and playing together for over 45 years. In fact, they happened to be playing at a particular Steak & Ale in 1977, where my mom and dad happened to be on their very first date. From that moment on, Banks and Shane has become a part of my family’s story.
I remember attending shows as a kid, asking Paul Shane for his autograph at age 8, jamming out to their CDs that I saved up my own money to buy, and watching them rock out on our back porch in Georgia at my mom’s 40th birthday party. To have them play at our wedding would feel incredibly special to me. I remember sending Paul our wedding date and holding my breath, then jumping for joy when we found out they had the date open and said yes to playing at our reception!
A few months ago my mom got word that they were planning a show at Lake Oconee, where my folks live. She booked a table and we all marked our calendars. Last week I watched the weather closely as it went from 80% chance of predicted thunderstorms down to 30% chance of rain showers. This past Friday we drove down from North Carolina and my brother and his family drove in from Atlanta. We arrived at the outdoor venue as the last of the rain sprinkled moved out of the area, then grabbed our pizza and wine to enjoy while we listened to our favorites and watched our kids, the newest generation of Banks and Shaners, shake their groove things to the classic songs. Ok, ok, we did our fair share of dancing too!
It was a night I had been looking forward to for months and somehow it met, then exceeded, my expectations. It’s one of those moments that I found myself just looking around and smiling, tucking the images into my memory, and feeling unbelievably grateful to be there with my whole family together, enjoying the experience of the music that is special to us all.
It’s been almost 2 years since my dad’s diagnosis, 6 months longer than any doctor had given him, but none of those doctors know the determination, fighting spirit, and positive attitude of my dad (and my mom!). Yesterday they met with the doctor to go over the PET scan from last week and found that numerous lymph nodes and pulmonary nodules in the chest have improved, as well as liver metastasis. There are a few lymph nodes in the mediastinum which have enlarged but doctor was not concerned (Dad told him that that was easy for him to say). He had another Keytruda infusion and is continuing with other alternative treatments at home.
We are so grateful for the new memories we making and for all the love my mom and dad have received along this journey. Today is a good day and I just wanted to share that, and this special weekend, with you. Thanks for being a friend ❤