“May we love each other with the love of a brother. Love casts out all fears.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita
This was supposed to be a tribute to my good friend, Jerry Buckingham, who has just days or a couple of weeks to live. However, my grief and tears kept me from doing a good job, so I will continue to try. Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, this cheered me somewhat. This is supposedly a true story. I don’t know if it is or if it isn’t, but it doesn’t matter because it might be true and the message is true and real even if the story might not be. I’m passing it on today because yesterday I heard a little boy singing to his sister as they walked home from church. It made me cry happy tears, and it made me think of this:
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, and she did what she could to help her three-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael would sing to his sister in mommy's tummy. The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown,Tennessee. Then the labor pains came. Every five minutes, every minute. But complications arose during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required? Finally, Michael's little sister was born, but she was in serious condition. With its siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee. The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatric specialist told the parents, "There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst." Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby, but now they had to plan a funeral. Michael, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her now that she is outside,” he said.
Week two in intensive care. It looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen made up her mind. She knew if he didn't see his sister now, he might never see her alive. So, she dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed.” The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steely-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line, "He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!" Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live, and he began to sing. In the pure hearted voice of a three-year-old, Michael sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray . . . " Instantly the baby girl responded. The pulse rate became calm and steady.
"You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away . . ." The infant’s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr.
"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms . . ." Michael's little sister relaxed as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. Tears conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't, take my sunshine away." Funeral plans were scrapped. The next day, the very next day, the little girl was well enough to go home! Woman's Day magazine called it "the miracle of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle.
I want to believe that this is true, but it doesn’t really matter if it is or not because the truth and power of a brother’s love or a sister’s love or a mother’s love or a father’s love is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. After all, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . .