Scylla the Rock

Scylla the Rock
October 28
Rogue Soldier Bad Cop I always believed in redemption through violence until I became crippled and retired. Now I seek redemption through forgiveness. "...fear, that secret fear that follows every professional to the grave. Namely, that one day, out of a past so complex that he himself could not remember all the enemies he might have made, one of them would find him and demand the reckoning."-LeCarre "Men die and they are not happy"- Camus


Scylla the Rock's Links
JULY 8, 2011 1:34AM

A Sacrifice for Sarah

Rate: 45 Flag

My son, my son 

John Alexander, Our Son

25 September 1987-6 May 2009

A pain without end. 


"I think you did your duty.

Unfortunately there are many kinds of loyalty and we cannot serve them all at once.  Next time you will make a better choice."

-Le Carre

Sarah.  She is beautiful, she is used to being fawned over, loved and certainly misused.  Scylla can feel the misuse of this beautiful soul.  Scylla loves this wounded soul and Sarah loves his wounded body.  So they marry, 15 years ago.  Scylla puts Sarah on a pedestal, loves her with the strength of every sun that burns, protects her soul and being.

15 years. Long time. For almost 10 of those years Sarah has stood by while Scylla slowly loses his fight to a brain tumor.  Surgery after surgery after surgery.  Cut here, remove that, the doctors always know best.

Now, again Sarah marshalls her forces and all his doctors agree; it's time to go back in, to cut Scylla up, replace some bent rods and screws in his spine, replace a screw that has worked itself lose from one of the three plates holding his skull together (I do indeed have a screw loose), maybe a pace- maker for his stomach, then implant a "morphine pump" into his body.  Only the anesthesiologist has misgivings.  With such damaged lungs that only work 50% he will not put Scylla out for this surgery. So they plan on local anesthesia for the skull plates an epidural for the hard work of cutting through the back muscle.  Scylla promises to take the pain it is the one single thing he does well, Scylla has always taken the pain.

Only a few more days to wait.  Scylla tells Sarah that this is the end.  No matter what happens or what comes he is done with the cutters and all their plans. At some point it just becomes butchery.  This is the final time Scylla will be wheeled into the abattoir.  They will take no more of Scylla the Rock.

Scylla wants Sarah to run, to leave, to pursue a life.  A life not tied to this wreck of a man.  Sarah is much younger then Scylla.  She is a stunning beauty, olive skin made tawny dark by the Hawaiian sun, huge brown eyes and ink black hair kept short so that Scylla can bite her neck when they hug. Sarah has always been a small smidgen of a woman but now depression has her at 87 pounds.  She is wasting away.

As husband and wife Sarah and Scylla have endured hard times by holding each other tight.  Now in their grief they have turned inward and their dead son lies between them, a chasm wide and dark.  As Scylla reaches for Sarah he can see the shadow of grief fall across her face. Sarah walks in the door, home from work she is crying in her grief.  Scylla holds her tight, rocking.  He cannot fix this, cannot find the words to comfort his wife when every time she looks at him she sees her dead son.  So now this; it is time for you to go Sarah. Go have a life, side step and slip all this pain, find your smile and your joy I absolve you from your oaths and vows and loyalty.

Run Sarah, run.  I've been a bad man, I bring pain where ever I go.  There is no dishonor in quiting the field when you've been beat all ways up.  Time to go girl, you've a life to lead one that doesn't include playing nurse maid to this beaten body. 

Surgery Monday.  Sarah gets Scylla to forgo this conversation until he begins to heal.  As a man, as a husband, Scylla knows that he is responsible for Sarah including her happiness.  He will turn to his secret reserves of strength to make Sarah understand.  He will win this.  He should be alone.

Run Sarah, run.

"A good man knows when to sacrifice himself,

a bad man survives but loses his soul."-Le Carre



"I will be your child to hold

and you be me when I grow old.

The world grows cold,

The heathens rage,

The story's told.

Turn the page."-Anon



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I'm sending you a PM.
Your beautiful boy came in the fall and left in the spring. Please do not unwittingly leave this summer where Sarah will have be alone in the winter.

Love you more and more
When you survive the unsurvivable, when you have a love like this through sickness and desperation, no one else can understand. No one else on this earth can comfort like the one who knows. Who knows the horrible nights, and rides them with you. This bond will never be broken, and you diminish her to think she could now move away from the one person on earth who understands.
Your writing, as always is a saber, long and slow to the heart.
Where there is love, there is life. Stay alive, Scylla.
My god. Get through the surgery,friend. Take it a day at a time. Let Sarah be there for you for now. She needs it as much as you do. I'll be thinking of you come Monday and mustering up good juju to send your way.
Sarah must make her own decisions, and decisions made in love are never wrong. Don't deprive her of the opportunity to love, to be part of your healing. You don't know what lessons she has yet to learn from you, from this. Sometimes the hardest thing we ever do, harder than bearing pain, is accepting love. Prayers for you and Sarah.
Sending peace and healing to you, Scylla the rock. Your boy is beautiful. Thank you for sharing his life here. A woman who loves a man does not want to be shut out from his life and heart...maybe Sarah needs you, too. I don't really know your situation, but maybe she needs someone to come in and help her with daily chores and care, maybe a home health aide or someone like that. I used to work as one, and there are many other people in similar situations as you, and there is help out there...Sometimes people just need a little more help so they can rest and recuperate a little. Sarah may be a woman who doesn't ask for help, or even realize when she needs it.

As a man and husband, you are a human being...that is what a man and husband don't cease to be that when you need care.

Sending many, many prayers to both of you for peace and healing. All my best wishes for your surgery on Monday, Scylla the rock.
You have a huge love between you even though your boy is gone. My husband has been very ill, too. He almost died in February. I thank him all the time for struggling to stay alive. Do this for your lady.
I sit here searching for words in response to this heartbreaking post. None come. All I can think of is sorrow. Please let us know exactly when you will go into surgery so we all can hold your virtual hand and will you through yet another ordeal.

John Alexander was a strong and handsome man. I'll bet he was just like his father.
There is no comment worthy of this torment. There is only love and hope for miracles.
Scylla - thank you for sharing the picture of your beautiful boy with us. You will be in my prayers for your surgery. You and Sarah.
This is the first time I've read your post, I've stepped in at such an intense moment....I'm so sorry to hear all you have suffered.
What a lovely lad you two love so much.
As a complete stranger who knows about love and tough times and the side-by-side Life, no matter what....
I don't think Sarah wants to be anywhere else but beside you.
You said it best: "Scylla loves this wounded soul and Sarah loves his wounded body."
Why would anywhere else be better than that? No matter what?
The pain I felt while reading this is palpable. You are a powerful writer with a poignant and powerful story.
He is a beautiful boy and you are a beautiful man. You promised you might visit me this summer, Scylla. You must keep your promise to me, please. This is gorgeous and powerful writing. I understand why she would always stay by your side, and you should understand that too.
the more you are content, the easier it will be for sarah to absorb some of that for herself. that would be a gift.

endure, withstand, and survive the surgery.

heal and heal some more, so that your love can grow together again.
Oh my God. I am so sorry about your son, Scylla. You are in my thoughts and prayers for your surgery on Monday.
Yes, well, good luck on that one, old man:convincing Sarah to leave.

As I learn more & more about your , ah, "medical issues", I cannot help but think of Humpty Dumpty...

(A "stomach pacemaker"? )

And what's this, now? :
"The world grows cold,
The heathens rage,
The story's told.
Turn the page."

Heathens raging? I like that better than heavens raging.

I'm learning Faith. Not in any conventional God,
that's for f-ing sure, but in a God with a very bizarre sense of humor
who lays his favorites low to teach them , well,
humility I guess you could call it.
And a healthy respect for His
sense of humor.
(Most of the time,
I do not find it
to be funny at fact,
if I had
volcanoes at my disposal as does Scyla,
I would jump into one without hesitation....

Still: for some damn reason I feel optimistic for you....I am
rarely wrong....
Beautifully written. I am so sorry for the loss of your son, and am sending happy thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. For you, and your Sarah. Rated with love.
John Alexander - what a beautiful boy.
I am speechless after reading your words here Scylla but I shall be praying on Monday for you and for Sarah. Remember, however, that she needs you as much as you need her "In sickness and in Health". Let her love you Scylla and heal quickly.
You have me in tears by the end of this heartfelt plea to not feel like a burden to your wife.
She loves you, you are not now or never have been a burden to her. She stays because she loves you, she LOVES you as you are and your pain is shared for the loss of your son. While you think she sees your son in you and is sad, you must know she sees your son in you and sometimes smiles remembering the good as well as the sad.
She stays as any good woman who is well loved, who loves well back will stay with the love of her life. She wants no more from you than to stay beside her and love her. Please do not see yourself as a burden or her as one needing to be free as neither are true.
Please let us know how the surgery goes and come back to us my friend we have much to still talk about.
Scylla you have been blessed with a love that knows no bounds. Sarah will be with you on Monday as we will be here waiting to hear of your recovery. Know that we are also fighting for you through silent prayer and positive thought.
“Love and forgiveness. Those are my watchwords.” Your words just caught my eye. I offer them to you and hope, somehow, you can allow them for yourself and for your Sarah.
Thank you everyone for reading and your kind, beautiful words. I would like to thank you individually but alas I'm due for an emergency root canal this afternoon. Life is indeed a grand old dog.
where, old boy, are they not making
violent incursions on your tissues? Perhaps
your fingernails? toenails? are they healthy or not?

root canal is like drilling out infectious tissue...
the pain is a good pain...
now, Scylla, you can want not to have surgery again, but you owe yourself to Sarah
but you cannot take back her vows without her consent, for she promised you, but she also promised God
sorry, it doesn't work that way
you cannot make her leave if she wishes to stay, that was her choice, her choice, Scylla!
love is a strange thing, vowed love even more so, what the whole of her life should be is a mystery only known to God
listen to Ms. Schuch-Lindsey and dear Rita, you can't deprive Sarah of the husband she chose for herself

pain and sorrow speak too loud, our fears our worries
one day at a time, Scylla, and I know we are asking a lot, but one day at a time, dear friend

(John Alexander is a fine man, is, mind you, as his soul surrounds his parents every day
and you made me laugh with the loose screw, and blush with the neck)
Sir James,
It is indeed a wonder that I don't just rust away like the tin man. Pace maker for my stomach is due to that old gut wound. Grand scar though really one of my best. Sarah wants me to get all my scars tatooed to look like zippers.
Looking forward to the root canal like I am to the hospital Monday; anything to bury some of the pain. I am really getting to old for this shit.
You will get through this, but you both need each other. Wishing you a fast recovery from the surgery, keep those puppies close. Hugs and love to you and Sarah.

-R- and kisses from Little Boo
No more words. Just constant in care.
Love Sarah's idea for tattooing your scars like zippers! But, alas, NO! Say no to any more needles under the skin that would cause a second more pain! Hell NO! But therein lies some humor, my friend. Did you say, root canal?!? God has a very warped sense of humor! Crime-iny sakes!
She is not going anywhere, and neither are you. Do not deprive her of showing her love for you. Let her be there for your entire journey, just as you would be there for her. Thank you for honoring us with your story. It is a treasure as are you, Scylla.
There's not much more I can add to these responses, Scylla, except to write that as much as we want to spare others from suffering, it's still hope, love and compassion that outweighs even unimaginable pain. You've shown amazing strength and courage in the short time I've known you here at OS -- no matter what happens next, I have the feeling you will remain there for Sarah, as much as she will be there for you. All good thoughts coming your way....
I know you are here somewhere. I jst saw you post a comment
DS-L-I'm here tooth fixed and just waiting for Monday. Against Doctors and Sarah's orders I'm sipping a 12 year old Scotch and minding my manners whilst I consider the folly of another bout of surgery. Damn "morphine pump" better work like magic.

I have been dreading reading this because I knew what you were doing. ARRGH, man Sarah is a woman and should be allowed to make her own choices and if you push her away you are going to hurt her more than any other thing on this earth has.

And if Sarah is seeing her son in you that is only because your son most likely looked like you. Scylla dear please consider that she needs you. She lost her son, don't take yourself away from her also. She needs your love. She chose you, let her chose to stay.

I will be thinking of you and Sarah in this time of need. I am worried.
I hear your every word. I'm so honored to read this. According to Don Juan, the only questions to ask, "Did you love well? Did your path have a heart?" You're a good man, Scylla.
a dog shouldn't be treated thus.

obviously. no one would patch a dog up like ye.

i would advise no heavy lifting for awhile.

sure you can pick up that
whispy speck of a gal,
a dog shouldn't be treated thus.

obviously. no one would patch a dog up like ye.

i would advise no heavy lifting for awhile.

sure you can pick up that
whispy speck of a gal,
You're in my thoughts and prayers today, may the angels hold you, comfort Sarah and guide the hands of the doctors.
Holding all of you in the light. It is all anyone can do, I hope for you.
Bleue, lead me to this I'm sorry I wasn't here sooner, sending prayers now!
Ditto to "oh my god." Be as strong as you can
Cripes.. I remember you commenting on my post about a staff infection... that you had had one much worse. Apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg, problem-wise. Cannot imagine losing a child and carrying on. Cannot imagine surgery after surgery. Cannot imagine the level of mental anguish that would have you set free your love.

All my prayers, such as they are, for you my friend.
Godspeed, Scylla, Godspeed.
Must be Monday now, in Hawaii.
The first I read of you, you were on a beach, contemplating the waves breaking over your head weighed down with metal & fatigue.
I remember you turned around.

Your giving to others set the bar, Scylla.
Love & Best Wishes to Scylla and family.
My god, you have made the top picks with this beautifully written effigy.

Please write as soon as you can
it's monday and i hope, as you said, that pump is working. such strength in this piece, these people.
You both have endured so much.....more than most. Hopefully you will one day feel joy again.
Holy Shit!
I have no words.
I will continue to hold you in my thoughts and prayers, friend.

Much love, Scylla ... much love to you my friend.
If you don't survive I will personally kill you, ok?
(Hope everyone understands that the above comment is a joke - and reflective of how Scylla and I talk to each other. Sorry if it appears offensive.)
THE DAMN SERVER PETERED OUT AGAIN. I sent this to you by PM, but the server couldn't take it anymore.

I suspect I am one of many. But you were the first to respond on my blog. It shows what a dedicated person you truly are

Here is the email:
O my GOD
You are ok?

This entire blog was in the FAMILY waiting area with Sarah when you had surgery.
I got on my blog just to see if I needed to respond to anyone.

And there you were. You are such a devoted friend father and husband. Even if your child is not here to tell you.

We all love you so dearly.

Why don't you start a post with just all your emails and PM's (not PMS)

Always and forever
Just got the email

Thank GOD.

I did a little research project I put on my latest post for you.

Your son was beautiful. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sarah and I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful thoughts of love and healing and all the grand PMs recieved. Such kindness does help and keeps my strength growing and healing.
I don't understand this life. I don't understand this pain. I am here, and I want to somehow offer you a simple seat. That's all I know.
too bad scyla did not die under the gas. the gas was his chance.
he came back to us. to who? to sarah.
to me. to ak. to whoever else is in his
circle of friends...

they beat us, those jap gals. good. too bad bout their tsunami
and when they went
so many ways to take that word, radio
or active

too many. man needs a , what, a damn other guy to listen to
hey you! It's a gift you survived so that I don't have to pummel you to death! Now go into the ocean and come back. Let yourself be bouyed by something greater than all the pain and suffering in the world. Let the healing begin.
As for the friend is attempting his first hike, and the conditions are scary...Mt. Washington is a tough mofo. If you go there, I will meet you at the bottom with hymns and prayers - and a promise that you come back down.
St. James-It wasn't for lack of trying on my part nor lack of cutting by the doctors.

aim- Good luck to your friend. Much like the ocean Mt. Washington is a killer and any hiker must remember that fact. In 30 years (man I'm old) of climbing Mt. Wash with some regularity I've only had a handful of "threatening" climbs. It looks now like Sarah and I will miss a climb this season due to my rehab, but if not then absolutely early next spring. We will take that part of our son to the summit as he asked.
I swore that oath to Alec and I will stay true, though I never promised to climb down. I know I must and Sarah will see that I do. Would love to meet you at the bottom with hymns and prayers for those we love and maybe some hot coffee.
You are the essence of love
You and Sarah know a love that few have known
Selfless and true
I too will send all the healing energy and love I have
to you on Monday
You are both radiant mirrors of love
RP-Thank you very much. We can use all the help we can get
This is a marvelous piece of writing and more.
He is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Just beautiful....