Shortly before I was hospitalized in June 2021 with Severe Covid, and placed on a ventilator for over a month, Nightbirde, the incredible songstress who so captivated the world with her courage, performed and received the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent, despite suffering from advanced terminal cancer.

I watched her performance and was captivated by her positivity, her faith and her powerful message: “You can’t wait until life is not hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

August 2021. Off the ventilator and out of ICU but still bedridden and unable to walk, I believed that if I fell asleep I would not wake up, and also not wanting to entertain the debilitating nightmares I suffered as a result of Covid Encephalopathy (swelling on the brain), I would refuse to take the sleeping pills given to me and would argue ferociously with the nursing staff who would try to administer these, and other, oral medications to me.

These evening fights continued for a number of days until I proudly confessed to my physician one morning that I was not taking any of the pills given to me. I was not weak, I would not become an addict and I would not die in my sleep. He was furious! After a stern lecture I became reluctantly compliant as I realised that without medication I could not recover. This was a hard lesson for me.

During these long nights of sleeplessness I would stare out the window next to my bed. The curtains were never closed. There was a tree and in that tree was a bird. I would fixate on this bird as it nestled down for the night and if by chance, I drifted off to sleep I would awake and search through the branches to find it.

The bird was not actually there. But the strength it gave me to fight for my life certainly was.

Yesterday I met the Lipstick Painter, Sarah Britten, who created this exceptional artwork in tribute to Nightbirde. Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to purchase it. It will be a lasting reminder of the little bird outside my window who gave me the courage to fight.

Jane Kirsten Marczewski. Nightbirde. May your dear soul rest in eternal peace. Thank you for your gift.


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