Monday, June 24, 2024

It's Okay

I enjoy watching shows like The Voice, America’s Got Talent and American Idol. I secretly wish one of them would showcase old, fat, balding guys, and if one did, I would consider auditioning. I don’t know if I’d win, but I’d give it a go.

I was in a rock and roll band in middle school and we were pretty popular competing and doing well in Battle of the Band competitions. I started out as the drummer and singer, but because I was doing more of the lead vocals on songs, I moved to the front and we brought in a different drummer. I didn’t mind, but it took some time getting used to being without sticks in my hand and sitting behind my red sparkle drum kit. 

In high school, I was a soloist for the school chorus and did a commercial or two. I even cut several demos for a recording company, but because I didn’t write music, they took a pass. However, that didn’t stop me from singing. 

I sang for weddings and funerals, and throughout my years in administration, I performed in school talent shows. For commencements/graduations, instead of giving a “principal’s address” I would pick a song that fit the class or the time period or a song that meant something to me, and I would sing it to the grads. Often, I did this with students who accompanied me and who sang backing vocals. Kids and parents would greet me on the street or in a grocery store or gas station and remark about how they still remembered “their song” from their commencement.

If I appeared on Idol or one of the other competition shows, I doubt I would ever reach the level of glory or fame Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson did after their appearances on Idol, but there have been other winners of those shows that did little, either. The music industry is a rough and tumble world and the road to stardom is paved with dashed hopes and broken dreams. 

In June 2021, there was one performance among many I’ve watched over the years that still stays with me. It came from a thirty-year-old woman from Ohio, who showed up alone and sang an original song titled, It’s Okay. She performed under the name Nightbirde. When asked if she has been performing lately, she smiled and said, “No, not much.” Howie asked her what she did for a living, and she said told them she has cancer, but that she’s doing well. When pressed further, she explained that cancer was in her lungs and in her liver, but that it was “okay.” 

“It’s okay.” 

Simon wished her well, and she performed her song. Her voice was sweet, warm, and enduring, and it was surprisingly strong. She moved the judges to tears, even Simon. When the judges went through their critique, in response to a positive comment from Simon, Nightbirde said, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

That’s such a powerful statement, so I want to repeat it: “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” 

That statement could have come from several biblical characters, most notably Job, Jeremiah and Paul, and their writings point to it, but they never came out and said it that bluntly. Rather, it came from a smiling thirty-year-old woman who sang a wonderful song of hope and joy and self-realization, and who also had cancer. Simon gave her the golden buzzer. 

Nightbirde performed well on the show, but decided to withdraw before the quarter-finals due to worsening health. Sadly, she passed away in February 2022, not even a year from her audition. And her statement, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” that was important. She said something else that almost went unnoticed. She said, “It’s important that everyone knows I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me.” 

It’s important that everyone knows I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me.” And “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

In my mind as I write this post, I picture Nightbirde sitting on a blanket under a tree playing her guitar and singing her song, It’s Okay. She’s smiling and happy and her voice is soothing and strong, sweet and warm. There’s a bird or two above her head listening and encouraging her. Warm sunshine and a blue sky with fat puffy clouds float overhead. Yes, Nightbirde. Sing it. I’m listening. We’re all listening. And yes, you are so much more than any bad thing happening to you. Like Nightbirde said, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

If you like what you’re reading and find a benefit from it, you can check out my other posts on my Website at under the Inspirational Blog tab. You can find all nine books, their descriptions, and links for purchase at the same site.  

Pleases Connect with Me on Social Media: 


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TikTok @josephlewis5566  

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I will take part in a podcast, MEET THE AUTHOR with Rob and Joan Carter Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. They can be found on LinkedIn. Look for the promo and the link as we get closer to it. 

For those of you in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, I will be selling and signing my nine books at the 4th of July Fredericksburg Craft Fair in Downtown Fredericksburg from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. I hope to see you there. When I receive my booth site, I will post an update on Facebook and on my other Social Media sites.

Later this month, my newest book, Black Yéʼii (The Evil One) goes into publication production. The release is scheduled for January 2025, but it will be available for preorder in a few months and I will have author copies for sale and signing. I’ll keep you posted.  

At the end of Caught in a Web, an agreement was made between law enforcement and four victims who were the loan survivors in the house that was overrun by MS-13. The agreement was to be a secret kept so that MS-13 wouldn’t seek revenge and come back to do harm to those four survivors. 

Here is the synopsis for Black Yéʼii (The Evil One): 

The police fabricated a story about the night four members of MS-13 died in a tiny home on a quiet city street almost two years previous. George Tokay and his friends were not supposed to share the secret about what really happened that night. No one was to know the truth. But someone talked, and now MS-13, ruthless and wanting revenge, is back in town, and people are dying.

Can Detectives Graff, O’Connor, and Eiselmann find the killers and put a stop to the killing before anyone else dies?

I will keep you posted on its publication progress and date.

While you wait, check out my earlier book, Caught in a Web because Black Ye’ii (The Evil One) is a sequel of sorts. 

Caught in a Web  

“This important, nail-biting crime thriller about MS-13 sets the bar very high. One of the year’s best thrillers.” –Best Thrillers

“…the right blend of tension and intrigue …” -Midwest Book Review 

A PenCraft Literary Award Winner

The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family.

Photo Courtesy of Unknown- Nightbirde Website




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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe