June 16, 2021

7 Years Post Heart Attack: How Nightbirde’s Performance reminded me of my Rebirth.

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy” ~ Jane Marczweski, Nightbirde


Tomorrow marks a pivotal milestone in my life that came out of the blue. I have written about it copiously since June 12, 2014. This event offered me several untold aha moments.

This morning, by the grace of God and the workings of Facebook, I am still here to read these postings that I made immediately before and three years after a heart-opening experience.

Even if I wasn’t consciously aware of what awaited, my soul knew:

“Watching the curtains blow lightly, danced by the morning breeze, playing peekaboo. The vivid green of the near summer grasses, the day lily stems about ready to burst forth in riotous colors, the white dotted shrubs in the front yard welcome me into this as yet untapped morning.

The next 24 hours will unfold as they do, without any coaxing from me. I am allowing myself to be in the flow of it, trusting that I will be carried along gracefully…..quite a feat for a ‘recovering control’ freak.

If you knew, really, truly, knew that your being, your presence on the planet at this moment in time, could make such a huge, remarkable positive difference in the destiny of everyone living and breathing, what would you do? Not a grandiose idea, by the way.

Would you feel purposeless or inconsequential? Would you feel empowered? Take that as a challenge and a dare, and then go do it! Why else do you think you are here? There are no accidental people.

Imagine going to bed tonight, not knowing that tomorrow an event would occur that would change….oh, only nearly every aspect of your life. You had been going about your days on autopilot until you no longer had that luxury. When you woke up, you did your ‘normal’ routine, only to discover that a few hours later, you would be in a cardiac cath lab having a new body part inserted and tubes and wires monitoring your vital signs.

That was my reality three years ago. Tomorrow I will be celebrating my third cardiaversary and am grateful that Spirit/Creator saw fit to keep me on this side of the veil since I clearly had more work to do here. New routine, new activities, new friends, new goals. Treasuring each person and experience in my life. Living even more heart to heart now. I invite you to live each day as if it could be your last.”

Now, seven years post-heart attack, I no longer feel like a cardiac patient as I had in those first tenuous few days when every step felt like I was running a marathon.

On occasion, when pushing my grandson’s stroller, I get winded, and my lungs feel like a compressed accordion. I continue to work out daily in my living room that became my gym during the pandemic. I take my prescribed meds and added supplements that are cardiac boosting.

I engage in more heart-friendly activities, such as time with nurturing people, either via technology or, if they are vaccinated, in a hug-to-hug connection. I take naps when I would have shunned them before since I had FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and now I have JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). As I had come to appreciate solitude at times when I was addicted to the adrenalin jolt, I would get from being with bunches of people, doing what I loved.

I didn’t know how to slow down, so insistent that I had to be at the center of the action.

I talk about that day as if it was just another adventure of a lifetime, but it really was the start of a new life. I consider it my second birthday: a do-over and a fresh start.

I say that the woman I was died that day to give birth to the one who is typing these words. She had to die because she was killing me.

A few nights ago, I flipped through the channels and tuned into “America’s Got Talent.”

I watch only rarely, but on this night, I now know why. A wisp of a woman stood on stage. Her torn white jeans and black T-shirt covered her petite body. Her elfin shorn hair appeared newly grown in.

My first thought was that she had been diagnosed with cancer. I was right.

Jane Marczweski, who uses the stage name “Nightbirde” shared with the audience that the cancer had metastasized and that she had a two percent chance of surviving it. She reasoned that although the odds were against her, she was still alive, and that was a good thing.

She added, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

Not only did she wow with her words, she double wowed with her performance, an original called “It’s Okay.” She raised her arms as if they were the wings of a bird who had gotten caught in an updraft and was ready to soar.

After the final note, the stunned audience was silent, as if drinking in the energy she exuded. Then came the standing ovation.

Typically cynical and sometimes stoic Simon Cowell pushed the button that signaled he had given her a Golden Ticket.

If the gold confetti that cascaded around the young woman who curled up on her knees and then rose triumphant was healing energy, the cancer would vanish, and she would be completely robust and vital.

In the meantime, she seemed as if she was eager to fly into the next chapter and thrive. It turns out that after the show, her song was number one on iTunes—quite a feat.

I pray that she lives long enough to enjoy her newfound fame. Her words echo in my head as I remind myself that even though the unexpected can occur, our hearts are strong, and we are resilient.

If I start to doubt, I will sing her song to bolster me and know that regardless of the outcome, it really is okay.


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