Friday, February 26, 2010

Meant To Be...

This Movie is how I received my Birth name.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


original movie poster by Frank McCarthy
Directed by Howard Hawks
Produced by Howard Hawks
Paul Helmick
Written by Harry Kurnitz
Leigh Brackett
Starring John Wayne
Elsa Martinelli
Hardy Krüger
Red Buttons
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) October 6, 1962
Running time 157 min
Hatari! is a 1962 American film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. The title means "danger" in Swahili, which was mentioned in the film as well. Portraying a group of hunters, the film presents an interesting if antiquated portrait of Africa still dominated by non-Africans. The film is extremely popular because of the dramatic wildlife chases and the magnificent backdrop scenery of Mount Meru, a dormant volcano.
Hatari! was filmed on location in Tanganyika, (in what is now northern Tanzania). Many scenes were filmed near Arusha, Tanzania on a hunting ranch, Ngongongare Farm, owned from 1960 by actor Hardy Krüger. The final chase through town was filmed in Nairobi, Kenya.
The film gathers its several characters from different parts of the world: Sean Mercer (John Wayne), Pockets (Red Buttons), Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro (Elsa Martinelli), Kurt Müller (Hardy Krüger), Brandy De la Court (Michele Girardon), Charles 'Chips' Maurey (Gerard Blain), Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez (Valentin De Vargas) are, respectively, from USA, USA, Italy, Germany, France, France and Mexico.

I was inspired by another blog to discuss how it is I have the name Brandi.
The blog that inspired me has such an elegant story. 

Me , not so elegant!!
It is kind of Funny, My parents went to see this film in 1962 and my Mother loved the name Brandy from a charachter in the movie. She was a an attractive woman , and my Mom really seemed to like her.
I have seen the movie and it was ok, but I was not drawn to it for an on-chore?
I was born in 1963, August and clearly the movie stuck with my Mom. She changed the spelling , but kept her decision to name me Brandi.

As a small child in 1st grade, I can recall the mean kid in the class taunting me calling me Whiskey and Scotch. I did not like the teasing or the demeaning comments attached to my name. Children can be so cruel can't they? And what 6 year old knows all the alcoholic beverages??? Anyway,
After first grade my parents decided to move to Southern California from the Bay area, so I inquired of my Mother to please allow me to go by my middle name Ann at my new school. She was agreeable and hence , I was known by Ann all through elementary and middle school. Thats me with the bow in my hair, celebrating my birthday 6th birthday! I did not like short hair.

It was strange to be called Ann at school and Brandi at home.
By the time I had reached High School I had decided to go by my given name and reclaim myself.

I felt very powerful inside by making the decision to use my name correctly and fully. It was a turning point for me and I really needed that sense of identity. It was a long time for kids to get use to me going by my first name and not "Ann."After a while I really disliked hearing my middle name used.

I was just in my early thirties when I had the awakening as to why I had those struggles as most of us do in our teen years. I realized that when my Mother allowed me to change my name and go by my middle name, she was giving me permission to hide from myself and others as to who I was.My given name was not something to change, or be ashamed of. I clearly at the age of 6 did not want to be associated with alcohol or anything negative! who would? but I never told my Mom why and she didn't really mind either. When I told her later on of my experience of figuring out why I had my issues, I asked her why she let me change who I was? She said in that era, nicknames were popular and people often went by names other than their Given names, you  remember, Buffy, Bing, Red, all 50's slang.She never thought it was an issue of concern.I understood, I wasn't looking to blame her, I was looking for enlightenment and understanding.

I came to realize at that time in my early thirties that because I had been allowed to change my name, I was given permission to be less than I was, I had been hiding out since I was 6?. This was huge for me!! I know that my life would of been different had my parents told me to be proud of my name and of who I was!! So interesting how something that seemed of such little consequence created dramatic results.

My teenage years were pretty typical for a teenager who had parents struggling to keep a marriage together, the pressures of the unhappy home life certainly motivated me to socializing with my friends and probably not the best choice of friends either. My Mother was active in our Faith but I wavered and decided I wasn't interested in going to church either, how could I be good enough to be around these girls in church when I wasn't even able to own my own name?.These decisions of mine were all stemmed from not knowing who I really was.I was lost and it would be a 18 years from that 6 year old moment of decision before I would find my way home.

At the age of 24 and fully owning who I was in name and Spirit, I knew I had been missing so much in my life. I was a Hair Designer and living on my own ,really wanting and needing more. I decided I wanted to have a family and  raise my children in the Faith that I was raised in. It was an excellent environment and I wanted good values for my children, so I needed to change the fast paced life I was living. I made the decision to end a bad relationship I was in and move home to live with my Brother for a while.I knew my way of living was not bringing me happiness and I wanted to see if God would be interested in taking me back? I had been on my own to long, but would he want me?I had to find out , I went back to church on my own and made promises to God and myself that I was "all in" and that if he could make me happy, I would serve him forever!!.

I quit any and all bad habits immediately and I have never looked back! This was in the early part of  March 1988. I met my husband on a blind date the following month through a mutual friend at church.
We dated and were engaged in September of 1988 and we were married the following February 1989.We were married n the LDS Temple in Los Angeles, it truly is Happily ever after...

My husband had never been "part of the crowd" when it came to bad habits, not that he didn't make mistakes, but he had a strong sense of who he was and so he never smoked, drank or did any drug of any kind.
I asked him how it was that he never got caught up in those wrong choices as a teen? He said he just didn't? I still had continued to struggle with why I had been off track with my choices?

And, so on that quiet morning when I had been on my morning walk, the light came on in my mind ,spinning back to the decisions I had been allowed to make in regards to changing my name. It had impacted my spirit and belief system, that I needed to be something different than who I was to be accepted. I spent that day with my Mom in tears of sadness for that little 6 year old who was looking for relief and a safe harbor from ridicule and tears of Joy for the relief and gift of enlightenment , to see the path clearly and understand the answers and reasons for my altered journey.

I don't regret my journey, it makes me who I am today. It has made me a stronger, more insightful Mother. I can tell you that I chose names for my children that had very little options for taunting at school. Lets face it school is a jungle as it is!Some things never change!
This experience has  also motivated me and challenged me to seek out opportunities for conversation and communication with my children.
I am so grateful for my Mother in my Life, she has stood by me and loved me unconditionally all my life.Mom has lived with us since 1996 on my Husbands invitation, we have enjoyed the company of Nana. My kids have grown up knowing Nana as a part of their Family life and it has been special for us all.

The sweetest part for me has been sharing our spiritual relationship.My Mom was also raised in the church and so I know her prayers for me were answered as I found light to my life and a desire for happiness.
Being a Daughter of God and knowing who I am was just " Meant to Be"


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  1. Ah beautiful story, right from the heart.You are just darling all through the years and today.

    We also call my Mother Nana and we all have an amazing relationship with her.They are a blessing!

    So glad you rose above it all and became You.~Kim

  2. Your honesty is so very refreshing. I just love the way you approach life and I will take a page from your elegant, positive book. You are an inspiration Queen Brandi for you don't pretend to be, you just are a wonderful woman.
    A lovey weekend to you and yours my dear,
    Warm regards,

  3. HI Brandi!!!
    Well I could be in trouble here.. as I even named my blog by my nickname!! To be honest I think we are all have many facets to ourselves.. I'm finding now that the Julie and the Ruby have equal importance in my life.. Funny I am always called Julie or Jules when it comes to the serious stuff and day to day life, and Ruby when it is creative or joyful!! hence trying to welcome that back into my life... also.. I ALWAYS had at least 5 or 6 other Julies at school and most workplaces which meant I was always called by both my christian name and my surname ....

    However.. i love your story.. and find it interesting how you found the self within... and your path in life.. and ironic that you opted for the well known name in childhood whereas I was stuck with it... hehe
    I think Brandi suits you well.. It seems vivacious and full of life which you seem to be judging by your photos and wonderful lifestyle in Hawaii...

    So now I have hogged your comments.. Thanks for sharing your lovely story with us... Have a great weekend xx Julie

  4. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us, I really enjoyed reading it. I have been to Hawaii a couple of times on holiday and think that you are very lucky to be living there :-)

    Have a fabulous weekend,

    Leeann x

  5. What an awesome journey to record for your posterity. And I love the flashback photos!

  6. Aloha Brandi,

    I wanted to stop by and say hello to you.
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and becoming a follower as well. I read your story a little fast and will return later to fully read it. You are a wonderful person and I hope to get to know you better. I heard this morning about the earth quake in Chilli and that a tsunami may be heading for Hawaii...I am praying for you and all of the folks there in Hawaii. Love and Gods Blessing to you and yours. Hugssss Susan

  7. Aloha Brandi!
    I am so happy to come and visit you. It is always a treat to hear your stories. We are basically to same age, I was born in March of '63 so we grew up in the same era. It is so fun to see your photos. It reminds me of my childhood. I remember being 8 like you and yes it's amazing how young kids are when they start to learn to be mean. I think, oh kids are getting younger and younger being mean these days. However, I think human nature is human nature regardless of the era. I'm so sorry to hear that kids tortured you by teasing you about your name. I am a firm believer that instances in our lives help shape who we are. For whatever reason inside of you you needed to change your name at the time to cope, that it has made you appreciative and proud of who you are today. It may have not had the same impact to be so proud or appreciate your name if that hadn't happened, it would have just been a name. Instead you have learned NOT to be embarrassed of who you are for what ever reason. For others, it could have been their hair color or height, etc. but it isn't until we have grown and matured until we realize that the things that make us different can become a good thing in our older years. What a sad life it would be if we were all alike. I know when my daughter was younger she wanted to wear clothing just like everyone else and didn't want anything that made her stand out. It isn't until we come into our own and can be comfortable with ourselves that we realize that we should all embrace our differences and appreciate them. If it wasn't so wonderful to be different, God would have created us to all be the same. I used to tell my daughter to hold her head high and be who you are and not be afraid to be a trend setter, to Not be like others. It CAN be a wonderful thing. Tell that to all the other Brandy/Brandis in the world!!
    I thank you for your sweet and kind comments about our news clip. You are such a sweetie to have such wonderful things to say. I crack up about your comment about the camera loving us. Well, I was having a thousand heart attacks thinking about being on it's not for me. Talk about nervous. I do no think the camera is kind to me. Why did I wear that dress??? Yikes, it looks like Omar the tent maker made it for me. Good God, oh well it is what it is. I am just grateful we could put the word out there about heart disease. I hope we have inspired others to help with the cause, become more aware of it and to take care better care of ourselves.
    Thanks for your support and friendship. You, my dear are as beautiful as your name!!
    Have a wonderful warm weekend!

  8. Gentle hugs, concerning your name-story-trauma-etc.

    Wishing you well, having just seen this News Blurb of tsunami warnings in Hawaii.

  9. I can can be so mean! We moved around some when I was a child, we'd move into a small community where kids had been together since birth and they just wouldn't let a new girl in! My name was Julia, I was named after my great grandmother. These kids would tease and taunt me with..Ju..lee..AAA So in 6th grade, i changed it to Julie, and have mostly gone with that since. Now I wish I was know as Julia, she was a beautiful woman and it is a beautiful name!
    How wonderful for your family and your mom that is has worked out so well for her to live with you. And how kind of your husband to want it too! We have all made mistakes of one kind or another..thats life! Thanks for sharing, I'm so glad I have connected with you! Come say hi :D

  10. Aloha Brandi!!!

    Wow.. what a post.
    I love your honesty.. I'm sure this post will be very inspiring to many others than myself.

    I can relate to you on so many levels here.. and it makes me very grateful that you are a new friend through blogging!

    PS: I love your middle name too.. ha-ha..

    Also.. I have been thinking of you today with all of the tsunami talk at your island. I hope all is well. XO

  11. Hi: I have enjoyed reading about how you became who you are. Thank you for sharing that. I am praying for you, I hear you may be in the way of a tsunami. Take care of yourself. Blessings, Martha

  12. That is a great post about the joys of discovering yourself, and your right to your name. Don't know many people have assumed my name was Amanada, as much as it is a pretty name, it is simply not me!

  13. Brandi- a truly moving story about your name, your path and your dear and beloved mother. I often wish my parents had been better "cheerleaders", for a lack of a better word, during my formative years. I always dreamed of what it would of been like to have someone telling you to reach for those starts as you can accomplish anything and everything you set your goals upon. But, not the case; we all are really products of our up bringing aren't we, including our own parents? Thank you for your sweet message regarding our turmoil to live abroad or not. I so appreciate your advice & support. We are still in the decision process and of course that perfect job offer still needs to come through, but it's getting closer. Sadly enough Grahams mum is quickly loosing her battle with cancer. We thought we'd have the joy of spending time with her when we moved, & she won't even come close to making it that long. To loose both our moms in the same year, likely within month of each other has been so difficult. Much to think about these days. All my best to you and yours and thank you for sharing your tender story with us all.
    xx deb


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