I recently said that even if my child gets to live the ideal, idyllic life for the rest of his life, nothing will overcome the loss of his Papa. There is no amount of payment the Universe can offer that would repay this debt.

When I met Andy, I thought my life of hard was coming to a close. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in this almost magical relationship. Really, we were quite sickening.

Until I met Andy, life was hard. Addiction and abuse and infidelity and parentification and narcissism and illness and instability and not knowing what a loving relationship was actually supposed to look like. I felt like I was constantly coming up for air only to be pushed under again.

Andy was like a scuba tank. No. He was a submarine. But not a little one, like a big one. Like a big wartime one, except his somehow wasn’t tight and confining, it had sprawling banquettes with plush pillows and a constant stream of tasty seafood. I could stay underwater for a long, long time while enclosed in my Andy submarine.

Then the submarine was torpedoed.

November 9, 2017 we were attacked from within. A mutiny by the crew.  Andy’s own cells were growing in uncontrollable ways and had invaded his guts. It was a rare kind of mutiny. The kind of mutiny that happens so quietly that less than 1% of submarine mutinies go down this way, but here we were. A veritable mutiny that had become a coup.

And we gave into the demands, the fatigue and the altered appetite and the strange sleep schedule. All while trying to keep the submarine going every day. Our newest crew member was only 17 months old and so we tried to keep things running smoothly while the coup got more and more intense and the submarine got more and more damaged.

Eventually, it sank. With you in it.

But in the course of the coup I learned that “Nothing overcomes me-/this must be life’s way.” I have never succumbed to the hard stuff before. And the coup, the cancer, showed me that. I have an ability to rise above. I had somehow grown gills and was making a home under the water, my little baby fish person beside me. I knew nothing would overcome me. Nothing would take me down.

Some moments I wish for that submarine again, for the safe haven of peace where you and I would trade off being captain and I could, fuck, just REST.

But nothing overcomes me. This is life’s way now. I will continue. And, surprisingly, I’ll do it better than I did with the submarine. I needed the submarine to grow my gills and my scales and strengthen my fins. But now they are ready. They will keep me moving. They will keep our son safe. We will make a new home in these depths.

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