Stephen Mosher On Staying Alive
In the movie The Hours Clarissa Vaughan says “that’s what people do, isn’t it? They stay alive for each other.” I’ve heard the line spoken some fifty or so times and while it has resonated with me, I find myself at a point in my life when the sentiment is particularly prevalent.
This year my husband insisted that I go to rehab for my alcohol abuse. When I was sober, once more, he told me “I just want you to live a long time with me”. On the surface it may have appeared he wanted to relieve himself of a life drama by ending my drinking; but the truth of the matter is that he was looking out for me. That’s a little something else people do for each other.
Today I spent some time with my mother and I have begun to truly notice the decline in her health and her ability, as she has aged. She is only 79 and I know people who are much older who are doing much better with their capacities. I am convinced that my mother’s health would be better if she had exercised, watched what she ate and taken overall better care of herself. Now her husband and children will have to watch her health and memory decline during the years she has left. I wish that she had considered staying alive for us. I love my mother very much. She is one of my soul mates and I am devoted to her. I will be devastated to witness what is going to happen next in her life. Imagine what that is going to be like for my father. I will be devastated.
And what could have prevented it? That’s the big question.
Pat and I know a couple in their seventies who are in good enough health, though it could be better. They are childless and have been together for more than half their lives. They are beginning to be afraid of the moment when one of them must go it alone. Pat and I are in our fifties and we have been worrying about this for at least the last ten years. That is one of the reasons we began exercising and living more healthily. He studies homeopathic ways to lower his cholesterol. I decided we should be vegans. We both study essential oils and supplements. We are focusing on everything we can to make sure that we stay alive longer.
For each other.
I told one of my personal training students that the work she was doing to drop her weight and make herself healthier was good for her but it wasn’t only ABOUT her – that it was something she was doing for her husband and child. She was making sure that she would be here for them, longer.
When I was young I tried to commit suicide. Now I wouldn’t dream of it. What kind of legacy is that to leave for your loved ones? None at all. I’ve had times as an adult when I was terribly depressed. I stayed alive. For others. I quit drinking, stopped smoking, won’t cross against the light. I do many things, every day, to stay alive. For Pat. And for me. And for many others.
We are obligated, once we are loved, to safeguard our beings and to stay alive for others. It is just common sense.
I wish more people observed it.