Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Staying Alive

A syzygy of events has set me to thinking about time and mortality. First, I am approaching a birthday. Since I have been excerpting portions of my parents' biography, I will save birth stories until then (not much to tell, but at least it fits with the day).

Second, in a recent Facebook posting, a high school friend noted that it was her birthday, and she said--it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to. I know she was referring to the Lesley Gore hit of many years ago, but I couldn't help but respond. I wrote back--No need to cry--just laugh and enjoy staying alive.

While I am not approaching a really ancient age, I am of an age where staying alive is something to be celebrated. Which brings me to the third event in this alignment of inspiration.

Here's the
link for a longer version of this sad story. It seems an elderly couple were in our area this past Friday, visiting a daughter. They left at 5:15 p.m. to return to their own home, about 30 miles away. They never arrived. The family contacted police, and a search began. Then four days later, their car was spotted, and then they were found--both dead from exposure. Their car was found in Maryland--some 40 miles beyond their home destination. The conjecture is that they became disoriented and confused, and somehow drove until they ended up in a field. When their car got stuck, they got out and tried to walk to safety. They did not make it.

I have no connection to the people involved in the sad story. But, because of a nearness of circumstance--I too have aging parents about whom I am concerned when they go driving--the story struck a particular chord with me.

It is deeply grieving that the story ended the way it did for them. I am sure they too just wanted to stay alive.

Oh, maybe these thoughts are too disconnected and disparate. I am not at all melancholic about an approaching birthday. In fact, I am grateful to be staying alive.

Perhaps the most fitting conclusion here is to note that my husband and I got back to our local gym (after a hiatus due to holidays and travel). Just all part of staying alive.

(Now, head right over to YouTube and pick whichever version you want of the BeeGees "Staying Alive." Frankly, there were too many for me to choose one to post here.)


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm typing with the BeeGees in my head right now! Your story of the lost elderly couple is so sad. It seems I hear of a similar incident every winter.

Murr Brewster said...

The Bee Gees song "Staying Alive" is, appropriately enough, the one we're supposed to remember when doing chest compressions in CPR. You match the rhythm. Congratulations on staying out of the obituaries!

Anvilcloud said...

Along that line, I find myself actually pleased to shovel snow these days. It's me Stayin Alive. I can still do it, d&6% it. I just hope it's not too much too often.

Jayne said...

I find myself, year by year, reading the obits (which I do every single day by the way as I have taken care of so many people) and seeing someone has passed away, noting their age, and thinking, "Wow, they were so young." Except now, that means they were in their 60's. Funny how our perspective changes.

That is so very sad about the elderly couple. How tragic, but at least they were there with one another to offer each other comfort.

Anonymous said...



Mauigirl said...

Something I think about a lot now too, since I'm in my ..ugh... "late fifties." As they always say, "Consider the alternative."

Per Jayne's comment, it's so true, I read the obits now and always think "they were too young" even in their 70s. And I get really mad if the paper doesn't say what they died of. I guess I have the idea that if I know what they died of I could somehow prevent it from happening to me. Which of course is absurd.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Well keep "staying alive" We have yet to share a visit and some coffee. :)

My older sister and younger brother put me to shame in the "staying alive" category. We just celebrated my sister's 70 birthday and this year she hiked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and you know my brother and his wife hiked the entire Appalachian trail. They have my admiration.

I am not one of those people who love's life. I am often depressed and have thoughts of ending my own suffering of life. (Don't push any panic buttons on my account. I feel fine at the moment.) I admire those who daily celebrate life by the way they live it. I wish I did.

Ginnie said...

I love that song and find, for myself, that I have to keep active to truly feel like I'm "Stayin' alive".
Happy Birthday and mine comes up next month.

JeanMac said...

Thoughtful post - we do have to enjoy each day

Ruth said...

I like your dad's comment. And I was going to say that your do the new CPR to the Bee Gees' Stayin Alive but Murr beat me. I don't think of myself as old but I have patients younger than me too often now.