A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A mother's unconditional love endures

"Every once in a while, especially after a challenging day, go in and watch your children sleeping." That was probably one of the best pieces of advice we received while doing a pre-natal class for parents expecting twins. 'Cause let's be honest, there are times when they make us crazy and we need to watch them sleeping to remember how much we love them. In the book "Love You Forever" the mother has a special nightly ritual.

My mother holding me as a newborn, with my Nana
on the right and my Aunt Edna on the left

Before I had children of my own, my mother gave me this book, written by Canadian author Robert Munsch, whose books are bestsellers around the world. It may seem an odd gift for an adult to give to another adult but my mom thought it expressed her feelings so well.  It is a beautiful story about how much a mother loves her child as he grows up - even if he is "driving her crazy" during the day! Every night she sneaks into his room and rocks him and sings, "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." I don't think I really "got" it until I had children of my own; then I knew how much my mother REALLY loved me - and always would.

That book has sold about 15 million copies. Many parents read it and make up their own version of the song. But I like to listen to the author singing it himself; that's the tune we use in our family.

If you're not familiar with the book, or the tune of the song, please take 6 minutes and listen to the story read by the author, either in this YouTube video or the audio from Munsch's website.
YouTube video of "Love You Forever" read (and sung) by Robert Munsch

 Click here to listen to the story read (and sung) by Robert Munsch

As Munsch shares on his website, he originally made up that song after his wife had two still-births. At first it was just in his head; he couldn't even sing it because it would make him cry. But eventually it evolved from a song into a book. I think it is a special way to express that love endures, even after death.

In the story, when the son grows up to be a man, the mother still sneaks into his room and rocks him and sings to him. Eventually the mother is too old and can't do it anymore. So the son goes to her, and rocks and sings to his aging mother, changing the last line to, "As long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be." And when the son goes home, he picks up his newborn daughter and rocks her, and sings the song to her.

Of course many years after my mother gave the book to me, after I had children of my own, she too grew old and weak. I cared for her through broken bones, loss of mobility, dementia, and eventually death. But her love endures, through me, and through my children.

I know the Pandora catalogue says this charm is called "Pandora Forever," but on my "Flower Power" mother-daughter bracelet this little heart dangle is called, "Love You Forever," because that is how I feel about my children, and as well as my mom.

I'll love you forever.
I like you for always.
As long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be.
Taylor giving Nana a kiss at the Rosemount Centre for Seniors.

Mitchell giving Nana a hug good-bye after a visit.

Mitchell and Taylor (age 6) with Nana at the Grace Manor.

My Aunt Edna with Mom (almost 82)

This bracelet is about my role as a mother and as a daughter,
as well as the lessons I've learned from my mother and daughter,
and about the lessons I want to pass on to my daughter.