Over the course of the almost eight years or so that Rhonda and I have been writing this blog, we have written many times about the positives of fandom. I think back to all of the blog posts I have written that focused on the pure joy I have received at various Duran shows or at other fandom events. It is common for me to point out that my favorite memories and best days of my life include those days when my entire being is surrounded by fandom. I might describe an amazing moment like hearing the first few notes of Secret Oktober in Brighton, England, and realizing that this is really happening. Perhaps, I would describe the ridiculously fun times when I have found myself on a stage at a Howl at the Moon singing Rio with my fellow fans. It is even the little moments like exchanging messages with your blogging partner while watching a brand Duran Duran special online. Yet, this week, I am reminded of why this all matters when you boil it down.
My parents have been visiting my sister in North Carolina for the last couple of weeks. My dad did not seem himself on the morning of their flight there but he has some significant health issues. No one thought that much about how he was acting. Unfortunately, throughout their visit, he had not shown any improvement. Finally, after consulting his doctor, they took him to the hospital where he is has been receiving treatment for pneumonia. Thankfully, he has been improving with the goal of him being discharged later today and returning home early next week. I cannot say that this week was the easiest for me as I worried about him greatly while needing to get myself ready for the upcoming school year.
After all, my parents are my rock. They are my go to people. When something goes wrong or I’m experiencing frustration, I look to them. When I was a kid, I might have sought them out for their advice or words of wisdom. Now, it is more of a situation of having them be my sounding board. There is no judgement with them and they understand where I am coming from. Truly, I have always felt incredibly fortunate to have this type of relationship with them. So many friends of mine have very complex relationships with their parents that includes both love but also utter frustration. I have none of that. Now, though, as they age and struggle more with their health, I am facing a new problem. What do you do when your go to people are the people you now need to process about? Who do you seek out especially when you are terribly in asking but often needing the support? I don’t have a good answer to that other than I’m working on it.
In order to seek some emotional support, I decided to post about it on my social media. I figured a lot of people especially on my Facebook would respond. After all, like everyone else, I have cousins and other family who are my “friends” on that platform. A lot of my high school friends got to know my parents quite well so I knew that they would reach out. Current colleagues might also feel some sort of obligation to offer their kind thoughts and any assistance with work that I might need. The one group that I didn’t really consider was the group that I would define as “Duranies”. A number of people whom I have met and gotten to know because of being a fan of Duran Duran reached out. Many of them just offered positive thoughts but a few went farther than that. Six years ago, around this time, I, too, was in North Carolina. Rhonda and I toured the southeast part of the country, which included a show in Durham. This tour gave us the chance to meet fellow fans from that area. Well, a number of those North Carolina or nearby fans offered to provide more than just emotional support. They volunteered to go to my family there, if they needed something. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that.
Fandom has definitely brought me fun. It has given me hours, days and even weeks of escape. I love that about fandom. Yet, I’m most grateful for are the people who have come into my life through my fandom. Some fans remain casual acquaintances but some speak directly to my heart by being willing to help those people that mean the most to me. At the end of the day, so to speak, this is what I will be most grateful for. I cannot begin to appreciate the friends I have made enough through the Duran Duran fandom.