“This is one of the most moving videos you will see this year. It involves a young, thirty-year-old woman named Jane Marczewski, who currently has cancer in her lungs, spine and liver. She has been given a 2% chance of survival. Marczewski — who goes by the name ‘Nightbirde’ when she sings — recently appeared on America’s Got Talent, where she received a golden buzzer for her performance.”
Jane Marczewski’s video has been viewed over 21 million times. What’s more, her song ‘It’s Ok’ has been trending as one of the most popular songs on iTunes. Marczewski’s backstory though, is heartbreaking.
“Two days before my 29th birthday, I made a clay bowl on a potter’s wheel. I found that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been at it, one wrong move can make a carefully crafted piece suddenly unrecognizable, thudding around like a flat tire. Then the only choice you’ve got is to take the clay off and start over.
At the time, I didn’t realize it was a metaphor. My whole world was about to lose form.
On New Year’s Eve, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Innumerable tumours were found throughout my lungs, liver, lymph nodes, ribs, and spine. I was on the living room floor leaning over the report, head in my hands. Six months to live. Two percent chance of survival…
I was a stranger in my body, far from home, cradling my own bones. I was a bald girl in the dark…
One afternoon, I got a letter from a New York Times best-selling author, of whom I am a huge fan. She sent a short note and some chocolate, and when I opened it, I collapsed on the bed sobbing.
I ate the entire chocolate bar horizontally as tears soaked my pillow. I don’t remember what the note said, I don’t remember what kind of chocolate it was. All I know is that it tasted like God was trying to tell me He was sorry. He wanted me to know that there was some sweetness left.
A line from my favourite poem says this:
“There’ll be days like this, my mama said,
When you open your hands to catch,
And wind up with only blisters and bruises…
When your boots fill with rain,
and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment.
And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you
Because there’s nothing more beautiful
than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline,
no matter how many times it is sent away.”
I haven’t come as far as I’d like, in understanding the things that have happened this year. But here’s one thing I do know: when it comes to pain, God isn’t often in the business of taking it away…
I am still reeling, drenched in sorrow. I am still begging, bargaining, demanding, disappearing. And I guess that means I have all the more reason to say thank you, because God is drawing near to me.”
So why am I sharing this story with you? Well, firstly, there is a dad story here behind the voice of thanks. There usually is!
The morning after I heard about the tumors in my body, I staggered down the stairs, gray-faced. My dad met me in the doorway to the kitchen with arms I fell into. He cradled my head and said, “You’ll always be my girl with the million-dollar smile.” I pressed my head even deeper into his chest, and he said it again, “You’ll always be my girl with the million-dollar smile.”
Every daughter needs a father who will do that for his girl. Read for yourself. Her dad was a profound encouragement to Jane at her lowest ebb. That’s what Dads do!
Secondly, if we want to have a happy family, we must teach gratitude to our children. If we are to teach gratitude, we must first be grateful ourselves. Trust me — gratitude is catching.
Besides, the science proves that being thankful is the best way to have a happy family.
This video is mainly for you as a father. To inspire you to a greater level of gratitude. As a man said,
“I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
Children will follow your actions more than your words. Having said that, your teenage children could get a lot out of watching this video. Perhaps even late primary-age children could enjoy Jane Marczewski’s story and music. I will leave that up to you.
Yours for more gratitude,
PS: Talking about being grateful, the Dads4Kids team is incredibly grateful for the 28 donors who have helped us achieve 23% of our end-of-year target of $300,000. Massive thank-you to you for your gracious gifts. We only have $231,000 to go to reach our Dads4Kids Help the Children End of Year Appeal goal. Our children are our future. Please GIVE NOW!
PPS: The Men’s Leadership Summit is happening on Friday to Sunday, 16-18 July 2021
Book for a group of three and save even more. The last two summits booked out.
Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.
Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.