Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thor’s Day: On being raised up

By Vic Midyett

I’ve always felt some separation from the words of the duo Secret Garden’s song “You Raise Me Up,” whose refrain is, in Josh Groban’s version:
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
            [Read entire Josh Groban lyrics]
    When I was with the Bunbury Men of Song, “You Raise Me Up” was in our regular lineup. It always induced emotion in me, but more of a wish than a memory to draw on. Only this week did I have clarity about why the song affected me so.
    When I acknowledge the words as personal, I think of my mom. She was my supportive one. She always said I could do or be anything.
    When I sing those words and think of my dad, I would have to change them to “I raised me up to more then you thought I could be.”
    What’s interesting…and scary…about this, though, is that I wonder how my own sons would sing the line. I’m afraid to ask.

For perpetuating good in future generations, I have a suggestion. All new parents, as they awake each morning, could ask themselves the question, “What will my children say of me when they become adults?
    This might just help a new generation to think, to change, to refocus, and to unload any negative baggage they collected along the road to growing up.
    No blame – I truly believe all parents do and did the best they could. But to start the parenting cycle with the question “What will my children say of me when they become adults?” would surely make a difference for an offspring, don’t you think?

Copyright © 2015 by Vic Midyett


  1. Vic, what you say about your father is surprising, since we know him as a Christian missionary (through your "Missionary Kid" stories), and as "Another Mighty Midyett" (through your cousin Randy Somers's biographical tribute to him). How do you understand this apparent discrepancy...or is it not a discrepancy at all?

  2. I don't consider it a discrepancy. He always did and always will have my total respect. He was bigger then life to the world. His actions and achievements were enormous far beyond the "usual".

    My comment was more of a personal one from a self centered child's point of view. Me the son looking to his father for direction and guidance. Dad was wise and caring towards others, but I believe, because of his own traumatic up bringing, he felt he was not qualified being on the parent end. He was generic and distant in his parenting abilities because he didn't know how to be more supportive and didn't want to mess things up for me.

    The bottom line is he did his best with the back ground tools he had without passing on any garbage. His advise was just 'generic' and delivered without much personal feeling. More from a teacher place then a dad. The positive of that is that I learned early that it was good to make up my own mind and solve my own problems. And from a spiritual place, relax and trust until I found a clear direction. And from that point of view, I am enormously thankful that "he raised me up" seemingly without doing so.

    1. Vic, your objective view of a real father, a real human being, is pure, uncontaminated by personal motives and needs. I think that your father would have been – probably WAS – pleased and proud that his son turned out to be so strong and wise even in spite of (and, as you point out, perhaps nevertheless because of) his "generic" parenting.

  3. Vic, I think that many people (and maybe most) listen to (or sing) the song as a thank-you to God rather than to a human parent, and I even wonder whether that might have been the songwriters' fundamental assumption. In fact, when you proposed submitting something about the song, I expected that that would be the angle you came from. Your actual angle was a surprise. And, of course, the insight you had achieved about your mother and your father was a crown.

  4. I actually agree with your comments, Morris. You are right about most people coming from that frame of reference.

    I have however, always thought of the song from a 'family' place because it made the most impact with me during the movie in which Bett Midler sang it to her dying sister. I thank you very much for your comments! You engage me more.