May 2006 was a turning point in my life. I lost my mother, the glue that held my life together. We were exceptionally close and I had nursed her through the last few years. Alone, I looked for something to bring me comfort. By chance, I heard Two Less Lonely People on the radio. It brought back wonderful memories of my late husband and I dancing cheek-to-cheek in our kitchen to the song.
I began a search for Air Supply music and found several CDs that were new to me. The most meaningful songs I discovered were Graham Russell's "I'll Find You" and Russell Hitchcock's "Goodnight." Goodnight does not seem to be an obvious choice but I would put my CD in the player and listen to the song every night before closing my eyes because it made me feel that I was not all alone in the world. Russell would tell me "good night" and I could close my eyes and drift off, comforted by that amazing voice reaching out to me through the darkness.
The following August, Air Supply played at our county fair. I had to work and arrived late so I sat way up high in the bleachers beyond the dirt track. The distance didn't matter; every note sung and played reached right out and surrounded me. My heart and soul were stirred. It was then that my journey of personal growth began in earnest.
I started searching the Internet for Air Supply information. The more I read, the more I wanted to see them again. With the encouragement of someone who has become my dearest friend, I flew the following May to Las Vegas all by myself to see the concerts there. My friends couldn't believe I was taking this big step. We called it the "I am woman, hear me roar" adventure.
That first night will always be with me. The goosebumps that started when I heard the Beatles' "It Won't Be Long." The tears that came when Russell and Graham sang Two Less Lonely People. Camera phones flashing, the audience singing and swaying and Russell swinging the microphone stand. Being up close to the band I so appreciated and loved was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. And even better, I got to meet them all and have photos taken after the show. I practically wore holes in the pictures showing them to my friends to prove I had really met these very special people.
Now, 4 months later, I have seen 12 more Air Supply concerts and have traveled from the West Coast to the East Coast and back again. I've seen an open air concert in Coney Island, New York and an arena show packed with 6,000 screaming fans in Connecticut. I've been so close to the stage I could touch Russell's red and black boot and I've walked through a crowded casino and literally run into Jed Moss. I'm fortunate to have spent a few precious moments with every member of the band and crew and have wonderful memories of kind and sincere words, hugs and even kisses. I've met wonderful new friends that I hold near and dear, several of whom have submitted their own stories to this blog.
I'm many miles into the journey to "find me" and Graham's words continue to inspire me. I've rediscovered my love of classical music thanks to Jed. I've found that a crowded airport is just part of the adventure, waiting in line is an opportunity to meet new people and that I can live out of a suitcase for 10 days. Most of all, tomorrow is something to be cherished, not dreaded.
I'll never be able to adequately express to Graham, Russell, Jed, Jonni Lightfoot and Mike Zerbe what they mean to me. Perhaps I will just print this page and carry it to the next concert for there will always be a next concert for me as long as Air Supply continues to perform.