Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I love you forever


Tonight as I was helping Dacia Grace get ready to sleep we were tidying her bed. In her bed I found the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch that was given as a shower gift. Dacia Grace loved to have that read to her when she was younger (and still does).

The story includes a song which I put to a tune. I have sung this to Dacia Grace since she was just a few days old in the NICU; so it has a very special place in my heart. Tonight brought me to tears as Dacia Grace sang me the song! How precious to my heart.

As I ponder this story, I realize yet another reason why I find this book so special. It has to do with the time I spent helping my sister care for my mother just shortly before she died. What a privilege that was! The day I arrived my mom mouthed "Hi Mary Lou!" and smiled at me acknowledging that she knew that I was there for her in her greatest time of need. She never spoke to me or looked me in the eye again. As my sister and I cared for Mom we would sing to her hymns and read the Psalms to her as this seemed to ease her pain. So in a sense, I too, held my mother and sang this lullaby to her.

Lord thank you for my precious mother. Thank you for the privilege of caring for her in her greatest time of need as she did so many times for me! Thank you too for healing my precious daughter so that she could sing to me!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the book I have included the text of Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. (I will warn you, you will probably need some Kleenex for this one. )

A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother's watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, "this kid is driving me CRAZY!"

But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed; and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The little boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was nine years old. And he never wanted to come in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited he always said bad words. Sometimes his mother wanted to sell him to the zoo!

But at night time, when he was asleep, the mother quietly opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep, she picked up that nine-year-old boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a teenager. He had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and he listened to strange music. Sometimes the mother felt like she was in a zoo!

But at night time, when that teenager was asleep, the mother opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep she picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

That teenager grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a grown-up man. He left home and got a house across town.

But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Well, that mother, she got older. She got older and older and older. One day she called up her son and said, "You'd better come see me because I'm very old and sick." So her son came to see her. When he came in the door she tried to sing the song. She sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always...

But she couldn't finish because she was too old and sick. The son went to his mother. He picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And he sang this song:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my Mommy you'll be.

When the son came home that night, he stood for a long time at the top of the stairs. Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter was sleeping. He picked her up in his arms and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while he rocked her he sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sandy - I heard this story before at a baby shower. Still touching the second time around.

Jillian Weiss said...

That's very sweet. I first came across that book when I was in the fifth grade. I liked it then and I love it now. I read it to Chloe as well. I gave the book to my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, and she liked it so much that she wanted to read it to the class. Her son was serving in Desert Storm at the time and she couldn't finish the story without crying. He made it home safe later in the year, but my point is that I think that simple story strikes a chord with so many moms. We can all relate.
It is wonderful you were able to care for your mother when she needed you. As hard as that is it is very special. Hope to see you soon,
Jillian

VINAE said...

Ok, I never used to cry about things like that, but since having Gibson, I'm all choked up!

Anonymous said...

This book brought a tear to our hearts every time we would read it to Ryan or Kevin. I don't know what it was, maybe the whole cycle of life thing.

Jim Atchison