Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Love You Forever - Eleanor Shepherd

One of my favourite books is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.  Obviously I am not unique, as apparently this children’s book has enjoyed great sales among older adults, as a proportion of the 15,000,000 copies that have sold.  Like so many other creative endeavours that touch our hearts, the writing of this book is the fruit of suffering.  On his website, Robert Munsch tells how the theme song of the book came to him:
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
Robert Munsch and his wife had two babies who were born dead and as he grieved the loss of them this song took shape in his mind.  It was in his head, but he could not sing it because every time he tried, he ended up crying.  One day he had the idea to write a story around the song and that is how Love You Forever was created.
Today I am heading out on the train to visit my son, who lives in another city.  I will only be with him for twenty-four hours, but I want to make myself useful to him.  His life is complicated by his quadriplegia, so I can offer him my hands to do some of the things that are challenging for him to do.  He is now in his forties, but as long as he is living my baby he will be.
On Saturday, my daughter called to check in and see how things were going.  While she was on the phone with me, her three year old daughter wanted to talk to Grandma.  When we chatted she told me what she was doing, and asked what I was up to.  I asked her if she would like to come and spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa.  Without hesitation, she asked her Mommy if she could come.
Mommy pointed out that if she came she would have to miss the puppet show that was being held at a street fair near their home.  She decided she would rather be with Grandma and Grandpa than go to the puppet show.  I could not wait to see her.  Of course, we had to rearrange our schedule a little, but what joy to be able to do so.  Besides I could give her parents the gift of a few hours free of the constant supervision required of little children.  For both my daughter and my granddaughter, as long as I’m living, my babies they will be.
Although they are my babies, I have discovered in recent years that my children have also become dear friends.  They are now both capable adults and have less need of instruction or advice from us.  In fact, they are able to offer us some good advice and instructions about hardware and soft wear that are sometimes a mystery to us.  The special bond that we have with them is one of our most valuable gifts.  They know us better than anyone, aware of our strengths and our weaknesses still they love us. This is why, when my granddaughter was just an infant, I made sure that my daughter had a copy of Love You Forever.  Generation to generation the love flows on, starting from the source of all love, God, our loving Heavenly Father.      
Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award


David Kitz said...

I too love Robert Munsch's book "Love You Forever." I can't read it without tearing up. On my recent trip to Japan I recommended it to a class of teacher training students there. Thanks for sharing your love of family.

Peter Black said...

Thank you Eleanor for this lovely heartwarming piece. I haven't read "Love You Forever," but I'll be on the lookout for a copy - perhaps in one our local thrift stores (Scotty-jock, that I am!). ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Oh Peter, you have to read this. I read it to my children and now my grandchildren often. I tear up every time. And how absolutely precious that your granddaughter chose grandma over the puppet show! Sweet memories. How can we not love our grandbabies (and children) forever? Great post.

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