You Raise Me Up

Fifty-seven years ago, on October 18, 1952, a young couple was married in a Catholic church in New York State. I suppose there were many couples married that day in New York, but this one in particular happens to be my parents.
In a time when commitments are disposable, Hollywood “marriages” last a couple of minutes, and political leaders promise everything under the sun to everybody, a marriage that lasts for more than five decades is no small miracle.
There was a time when people got married and stayed married, for better or for worse, as the vow goes. I’m sure my parents have seen more than their share of ups and downs over 57 years of raising seven kids. But things are different now, and people don’t always work things out, for whatever reason. Not everyone that I grew up with was fortunate to have both parents living with them, so I consider myself to be blessed.
Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” By saying this, I think he was paying tribute to those who came before him—perhaps his parents—who gave him a firm foundation on which to build his own life and his own success.
By showing us through their own lives how to press on through the tough times, our parents gave us the life skills we needed to get through our own personal trials and tribulations of adult life.
57 years is a long time to be married. Lots of things, good and bad, happen. Financial difficulties…building a home…deaths…births…and most recently, my dad’s stroke. And did I mention SEVEN KIDS?! It takes two people with very strong character and faith in God to walk through these things together.
When people work hard all of their lives, and make sacrifices for their families, no one hands them an award. Crowds don’t cheer for people just doing the right thing or being responsible. But they should.
My parents may not think they’ve ever done anything special. But they have. They probably will never be famous or wealthy as the world counts wealth. Through their children and now 11 grandchildren, their influence goes out exponentially to people they’ll never meet.
My brothers and sisters and myself can credit our parents for raising us upon a firm foundation. By showing us love, faith and commitment, they’ve given us a standard to reach for in ourselves. That’s something to be proud of.

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