As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, put my headsets on, plug the cord into my turntable...
Memorial Weekend 2011
Oh Dear God, how I wish I could have been back in my red, vinyl beanbag chair that weekend. Instead, I was sitting by my sweet Mom's bedside. In the background, old church hymns were softly playing. I was holding her hands and watching her die. It doesn't matter the age or circumstances; watching someone you love die is the most painful experience you will ever have in your life. The blessing from going through this, though, is that it really opened my eyes as to how precious life is. That I needed to try harder to find joy and live my passions. It's hard to find joy and passion, though, when you feel weak and broken-hearted.
I had just installed a new music app on my phone; Pandora. What a marvelous addition to my life! A plethora of music at my fingertips. I work through my emotions by spending a lot of time exercising outdoors. I loved having a wide variety of music streaming into my ears while I walked and biked. One day I heard the most impacting song; a song that was brought into my to lead me down a new path. "Calling All Angels" by Train. "I need a sign, to let me know you're here...that things are going to look up...I won't give up.." I immediately looked up the YouTube video and it was like watching my life. Pat was walking through this dead forest, filled with dark storms. But his walk was leading him up to the top of a mountain, where he finally found peace and freedom. That was me! I had turned to the mountains to grieve and figure out my life. I've watched that video hundreds of times. All I wanted was a sign. A sign to let me know I wasn't alone and that things were going to look up. And I received it.
Feathers. Beautiful white feathers that would show up in the most unusual places and important times. White feathers and angel wings symbols. From my Mom.
Those symbols have opened the door to a brand new part of my life that never existed before. And they continue to lead me down this amazing musical journey.
The first time I saw Train in concert was at the Puyallup Fair. I had tears rolling down my face, when I sang along with Pat to the song "Calling All Angels". I've seen Train in concert 5 times, and have a 2nd row VIP ticket to see them this summer. Pat Monahan is such an incredibly talented musician and puts on a great show!
OKAY...I''m going to lighten it up now and get to the cool part. Meeting Pat Monahan in person!
I happened to be on Facebook when the Seattle Hard Rock Cafe announced that Pat was having a private wine tasting at their upstairs bar. Train has their own wine label, Save Me San Francisco. I, of course, immediately bought a ticket!
The day of the wine tasting event arrived and I hopped on a bus and headed into Seattle. By myself. I really didn't know what to expect, but when I checked in at the Hard Rock, I found out the event was limited to only 50 people! 49 complete strangers and myself.
It was a wonderful setup. 3 different wine tasting tables and delicious hors-devours were being passed around. I found another woman by herself, also, so we shared a table. Both of us a bit nervous. An introduction was made to all of us, and out came Pat! The next 2 hours, he just casually strolled around and spent time talking to everyone there.
Ours was one of the first tables he came to. I tried to be calm, cool and collected. But I wasn't. I desperately wanted to share my story and what an impact he's made on my life, but I knew he's heard hundreds of stories by now. So, I poorly raced through my story, showed him my angel wings tattoo and thanked him. He was kind and gracious, and chatted with us for a few minutes. Then he moved onto other tables. It was really nerve wracking to be standing right next to the person who has literally changed your life. Drinking wine and trying to act calm, cool and collected.
What is the one of the most embarrassing things that you could think would happen, when you are smiling and talking to a rockstar that means a lot to you? Yeah.... well, after I talked to Pat, I went to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. VOILA! I HAD SPINACH IN MY TEETH! OMG, really? I was standing shoulder to shoulder with PAT MONAHAN.. and I had green leaves stuck in between my teeth. Why can't I ever be the flawlessly cool girl?! Oh well, things like this happen to keep our egos in check, right?
Oh, and don't eat hors-devours wrapped in green leaves at a special event, or on an important date.
The evening was coming to a close, and it was time to stand in line to get a professional photo taken with Pat. I was one of the last ones; hey, I was enjoying their wine!
When it was time for my photo, I walked up to Pat. He grabbed my hands, looked me in the eyes and said " Thank you for telling me your story about your Mom and your angel wings tattoo." I was floored. He kept talking to me, holding my hands and I was like...WOW. Maybe he really understands. I'm not just some fan girl, I'm a very sincere woman. Somehow, through my crazy blurted story, he felt what I was trying to say. That was wonderful! It makes his music even more meaningful now.
And then I had my smiling picture taken with him..NO spinach in my teeth this time.
Meeting Pat was a dream come true. But to make that dream come true required courage and believing in myself. To ride a bus into Seattle, to attend an unknown event by myself, to meet an individual who has changed my life...Took Courage. And I had to believe in myself, too. I had to believe that no matter what kind of crowd of people I ended up being with, I was just as worthy as them to be there.
And that is what it takes to make your dreams come true. Courage and believing in yourself.
"And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels
I won't give up if you don't give up"
SUSAN IN SEATTLE