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."
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