Almost everyone knows the story of “Love You Forever” by heart. In the timeless and popular Children’s book, the cycle of raising a child throughout the course of the boy’s life is described. The all-time best-selling children’s book depicts how endless a mother’s love is for her child, even if he has already grown.
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
This verse is one of the backbones of the well-known children’s book. The sweet and very meaningful verse appealed, not only to the children but to the parents as well, that it has become a popular lullaby and nursery staple.
But did you know that this four-line poem is more than just a nursery song? Robert Munsch, the author of best-selling children’s books, revealed that this verse has a very special place in his heart. As it turned out, this verse reflects a part of his life. Robert admitted that he would silently sing this song to himself after his beloved wife gave birth to a stillborn baby twice and between a short period of time.
According to the creative writer, when they lost their baby, the song was too painful to be sung out loud. Thus, for a very long time, his wife, Ann Beeler, did not know about the song.
“[The song] was my way of crying,” Robert shared in one of his interviews.
As if life is testing them even more, doctors had informed him and his wife that they would never be able to conceive a child anymore. This unfortunate news broke the writer who had experienced working in orphanages, graduated with a master’s degree in Child Studies, and written countless children’s books. After all, he and his wife really wanted to have a baby of their own
“You know when someone walks up to you and gives you a sucker punch right in the solar plexus? [It felt] like that,” Robert said, trying to string the right words that would describe the pain he had felt.
According to Robert, he had never written the song down nor said it out loud. It was merely a silent lullaby he sang to himself in order to comfort his grieving heart. Years later, a bright idea popped into his head.
“My stories come gradually through storytelling. This one came all of a sudden.” Robert recalled. Soon, he found himself making up a story that would accompany the song he had composed for himself. Robert performed the story he created on stage, narrating a story about a mom who sings the same lullaby to her son every night, even when he is already an adult.
It was only then that his wife, Ann, heard of the song. After his delivering the story on stage, Robert could see the audience becoming visibly emotional just like his wife. Soon after, Robert wrote the story he had created on his mind and turned it into the best-selling children’s book we are familiar with today.
After suffering from a stroke in the year 2008, Robert retired from storytelling. Now, the writer finds himself relating to the mother featured in his story, Love You Forever, when she is already old and the one receiving love and care from the son she raised.
Robert shared that he hopes his greatest masterpiece will be able to offer comfort and solace to other parents just like what it did for him. At the end of the day, stories can be interpreted in a lot of ways. Hence, the author believes that the story can have a different meaning for each heart it would touch.
“For someone who picks up the book, it’s their story, not mine,” Robert explained.
According to health statistics, about 1% of all pregnancies each year end up in stillbirth. Annually, 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States alone. Losing the baby you have carried for months inside the womb and loved right before you could cradle, hug, and kiss them, is beyond devastating. Fortunately for Robert, he was able to turn the painful experience into a remarkable story that appeals to parents and children of every generation.
Watch the video below to relive the children’s book that has a big part in your childhood. Now that you know the true story behind it, do you still look at the story with the same light you used to? Share your thoughts down in the comment section!
Photos and Video | Love You Forever – Robert Munsch ; Hedjamavieille