Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“‘You’re the Only Star’: Music, Illness, and Motherhood”

When I was six I was admitted to hospital extremely ill, not thought to live.

I vividly recall my mother waving good-bye to me through the glass screen. (I must have been in an isolation unit.)

Then she hurriedly turned away to hide her tears, but I knew. And then she was gone. And I cried. Fearful, alone.

I caught sight of a set of headphones beside the bed connected to the hospital radio system. I  put them on and heard a song which instantly comforted me. It was “You’re the Only Star in My Blue Heaven.”

Suddenly, she was back with me. I was not alone. I remember smiling.

I sang that song, as best as I could remember it – and I remembered it well – many times during  my three months in the hospital. It was way back then that I discovered the therapeutic power of  music – the remembrance, the reassurance, of the mother most loving.

And as she lay in coma, I sang her song back to her. She was not alone. I was there – and so was her mother.


Extract from the book The Veneration of Life