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Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday of Munsch - Love You Forever

It's the final Monday in September, which means that it's time for the final Munsch least for now.

I may revisit this author at another time in the future, but for now, let's savour this moment while we can.

I have to say that a good 90% of Robert Munsch's stories are hysterical to read and usually involve stories that expect you to believe the unbelievable.  From mud puddles jumping on top of you from trees to getting into a fight with your principal and teacher over a snowsuit, to making yourself invisible after attempting to scrub off super indelible markers from your skin, it's safe to say that most of his stories are fun tales that suspend reality.

But perhaps one of Munsch's greatest stories that he has ever written comes from a place in which he was probably at his saddest.

If you read his official biography at, you'll read one sad footnote amongst all of the fun stories that he has shared over his career.  When Robert and his wife were trying to start a family of their own, they had two children that were stillborn.  And the tragedy devastated both of them - which lead to the couple's eventual decision to adopt children. 

But if there could be a positive to come out of the tragedy of losing two children, it was this.  Robert wrote a song about his lost children, and the song was called "Love You Forever".

"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be"

It didn't occur to him that song would one day become his biggest selling book - one that has been loved from generation to generation since it was originally published in 1986.

"Love You Forever" is the tale of a mother and her son, and how strong that mother's love grows with each passing year - no matter what sort of trouble the child seems to get into.

You know the kind of trouble I mean.  Flushing Daddy's wristwatch down the toilet, or tracking mud through the kitchen, or sticking gum all over the place, or bringing in strange animals as pets.  These are all things that would most definitely test the patience of any parent.

And yet every single night, the mother would sneak into the room of her son, pick him up, cradle him, and sing the "Love You Forever" song to him, showing him just how much she loved him - even if he wasn't conscious at the time.

Even when the young man grew older and moved out of the house, she would always come over every single night and sing him the "Love You Forever" song, even if it meant that she grabs a ladder, climbs up to his bedroom window and picks him up even though he likely outweighs her by a hundred pounds!

Okay, so maybe there was a little bit of Munsch humour added in.  Not a whole lot, but a little.

Now, here's where the story gets heartbreaking.  Eventually, the mother of our tale starts to get frailer, and although it's not really implied in the story, it's eluded that she has some sort of illness that prevents her from remembering the song that she used to sing to her son.  By that time, the son is now a full-grown adult with a family of his own, and in gratitude for all that she has done for him, he sings her the "Love You Forever" song with a little tweak in the lyrics...
I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My Mommy you'll be"

Are your eyes dry yet?  Give me a moment to dry mine.

I guess the moral of "Love You Forever" is that a parent's love for a child never dies.  I truly believe that to be true even long after a parent departs this world and leaves their children behind.

And while I am lucky enough to still have both of my parents, I know that one day I'm going to come to the grim reality that they are not always going to be there...but even though there may come a day in which they are no longer here, I know that their love will never truly die.  We carry that love with us and pass it on to future generations - well, those of us who are lucky enough to have children, that is.  Until then, if you're lucky enough to still have your parents in your life, spend time with them.  Let them know how much you love them.  Be there for them.

Love each other forever.

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