Do me a favor. Take a moment and see if you can think of anything that people can come to an agreement on these days. Having a hard time with this one? If you are thinking about the laundry list of issues that we are having a difficult time agreeing on you may come up blank. Politics, religion, race,922c1eec3b83aedbc91fa41d603703f4 or homosexuality are only a few areas where agreement seems impossible to achieve lately. The optimist in me managed to come up with one topic that I think that we can all agree on. Cancer sucks. Period. I highly doubt that there will be any debate or disputing this one.

What would our world look like if we all treated one another like we treat those whose lives are affected deeply by cancer? I know. The division and disagreement that is robbing us of our joy and the ability to love would melt away. Period.

I cherish the times when I am reminded that there is no greater gift than to love one another. Saturday night we attended the 3 year anniversary celebration of The Venue, aka, our home away from home, our wedding reception location, and the place where we have always felt accepted and loved since we came out. As we arrived, we were told that the owner’s father had passed away only 4o minutes prior. When a parent dies, the world shifts. I watched my wife go through losing her mother to cancer and my step mom is currently fighting cancer and I can tell you first hand that cancer sucks. Actually, sucky is not a strong enough word to express what cancer is.

7429-The-Venue-Yvette-Waters-PhotographyThis night, which was a celebration of The Venue’s success, became the day her daddy died. Those who gathered surrounded her with love all night. She said that there was no better place for her to be on this difficult day. There was no better place any of us could have been. The show went on as a tribute to her father. I like to watch from the loft where all of the lighting and sound magic happens and I had a birds-eye view of the power of love. It sounds corny, but I am telling you that the feeling in that theater on this night will stay with me forever. There was laughter, many tears, dancing and joy. The photos my wife took that night even captured the emotion of the evening. There was unity, peace, and most of all ONE LOVE.

7527-The-Venue-Yvette-Waters-Photography   I enjoyed every minute and wondered what life would be like if this was the norm rather than the exception. This night was a gift and reminder that being there for each other should always be more important than being right or arguing about ideas or beliefs. Cancer does not discriminate or care what your sexual orientation may be. It does not care what your religious views or politics are. Its main job is to be sucky. Period.

Spending time and energy picking at one another seems like such a waste considering how short life is. Kindness. Love. Compassion. This is all that really matters. If we truly reap what we sow, isn’t it about time we starting sowing more love in our lives and taking to heart the idea that what we put out in the world comes back multiplied.

1609964_866992933319113_7257691037123229600_nWorth mentioning here is the Barber Fund. The Barber Fund is a non-profit organization that was founded by the amazing people who own and manage The Venue. The goal of the Barber Fund is to help those living with cancer in the Orlando area and to spread ONE LOVE. If you have a moment, please read the story of the Barber Fund. You will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, compassionate and determined bunch of cancer haters than these people are. I am blessed to know them and to have a front row seat for all of the great things they do for not only the recipients of the fund, but the entire community.

7536-The-Venue-Yvette-Waters-PhotographyI dedicate this particular blog post to those who have fought cancer and survived, to those right now who are battling for their lives, to the families who have to watch their loved ones suffer, and most importantly to those who have lost their lives to this terrible disease. ONE LOVE. Everyday.