Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Joe Lanzon

Richard and Joyce had now been married for three years. They had a son, Peter, who was a darling, a sweet little boy with a lovely character that attracts you immediately to him. But both parents craved for another baby, especially if it were to be a daughter. So when one day, just after their third anniversary, Joyce told Richard that she was pregnant, they were ecstatic with joy. 

They made it a point to tell Peter that he would soon have a brother or a sister. As the months passed by, Joyce would tell him to touch her tummy, telling him that is where his baby sister or brother was, just waiting to come to them and be part of their happy family. Peter would often ask his mother how the baby was. She would tell him – “A few days more Peter, just a few days more.” The boy was as happy as could be; he was waiting eagerly to see his baby sister because he was sure that it would be a sister. It was as if he already knew the new arrival. “Sister, sister’, he would reply and his mother smiled – “If only that was true!

He used to put the palm of his hand on his mother’s tummy, feel the movement there and sing to his not-yet-born sister. It was always the same lullaby day after day but he sung it with so much love and devotion that his mother felt that a strong bond had grown between them before he had even seen her.  The pregnancy progressed normally. In time the labour pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, then every three minutes, then every minute. But there were serious complications during the delivery and Joyce found herself in a long-labour ordeal.

Finally, after a long struggle, Peter’s little sister was born. But she was in a very serious condition. The baby was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. The days passed but the little girl grew worse. After the necessary tests, the pediatrician found that there was little hope of the baby surviving beyond a few days. He had to tell the parents to be prepared for the worst. When he told them, they were devastated. It was like they were struck by a thunderbolt. How could this be? They had prepared so much for their daughter; they looked forward to her coming. They cried and cried. But they could not believe it; they did not accept what the pediatrician had told them. Their daughter would live.

When they told Peter that the doctor had told them that his sister was dying, he felt as if his heart would break into a hundred pieces. Like his parents, he did not believe that his little sister would die. He asked his parents to take him with them to the hospital as he wanted so much to see her.  But the hospital staff refused because, they said, hospital regulations do not allow for small children to enter the wards of a dying person even if he’s a family member. But Peter begged his parents to insist with the hospital as, he said, he wanted to sing to her. 

When Richard and Joyce took Peter with them and tried to smuggle him into the room, the nurse bellowed “Get that child out of here now. No children are allowed!!” But his mother stood firm. Glaring at her with eyes of steel, she told the nurse “He is not leaving here until he sings to his sister!” Then she towed the little boy toward his sister’s bedside. 

Peter gazed at the tiny infant fighting for her life. He took hold of her feeble hand and spoke softly in her ears. “It’s me Peter, your brother. I’m here with you now”. Then he began to sing, softly softly in her ear.

                 “Twinkle twinkle little star.

                   How I wonder what you are.

                   Up above the world so high.

                   Like a diamond in the sky.”

It was a soothing voice, trying to communicate with his sister as he always did when she was still in his mother’s tummy. He put life, love and prayer in his voice.

Suddenly his sister batted her eyes; she gripped his hand as though it was her only link with life. Peter continued to sing – “Twinkle twinkle little star ………………….” 

All through the nightmare he never let go of her small hand and she not once did relax her hold. All the while he continued to sing softly in her ear. She continued to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. His parents noticed the scene before their eyes. “Keep on singing Peter,” they encouraged him. The little girl moved, life seemed to get into her. She gripped her brother’s hand even tighter. Peter stopped momentarily, tears flowing down his face. “Keep on singing Peter”, encouraged again his mother.  

The baby’s recovery was amazing. Tears now conquered the face of the bossy nurse. Joyce and Richard glowed with hope and pride. The pediatrician could not believe his eyes. The next day she was out of the IT Unit. A week later Richard, Joyce and Peter took the little girl home. The doctors felt that she was now healthy enough to leave the hospital. Peter’s singing had brought his little sister back to life.