Doug had walked off most of his anger by the time he got home but, as I expected, he had no intention of going back to the hospital. I pleaded with him, saying the nurse had insisted he come back alone, and finally he relented. He left home around 5 p.m.

Hours passed. Finally, at 11 p.m., now worried about both my son and my husband, I called the ICU and asked for the nurse.

What she had to tell me was nothing less than miraculous. Doug had gone back to the ICU, hesitant and concerned. The nurse reassured him and had him stand there, his hand inside the isolette. He stood there for a long time, thinking, watching his son. After a time, the nurse brought over a rocking chair, took Charlie out of the isolette--still attached to the wires and tubing--and put him in Doug's arms.

They rocked together for hours, father and son, in the quiet of the ICU, and the nurses gave them wide berth. By the time I called late that night, Charlie's breathing had slowed and his heart rate was normal. By the following morning, Friday, his chest X ray was clear and I was able to nurse him for the first time. There are no words to describe what I felt when he was returned to my arms.

And on Monday morning, we took Charlie home.

My mother put it simply and wisely: Never underestimate the power of love. There is no question in my mind about what happened that Thursday night in the ICU. Our son was healed by his father's love, brought to wellness by his father's touch. Antibiotics alone could not--and did not--bring Charlie back from the brink; it was, I honestly believe, a combination of modern science and the power of love.

Looking at him now, a rambunctious and irrepressible six-year-old, it's hard for me to imagine that he was ever as desperately sick as he was or that we nearly lost him.

But I make a point of remembering.