It’s August 29, 1982. Five days after my sweet-17.
Relatives drop in and I’m sent to the local orchard to pick up some apples. It’s a 4km drive.
My 12 year old cousin, Susie, joins me for the ride.
We pick up the apples. Then, since we’re so close, I drive us down to the Rideau Locks. Park the car. Hop out and show my little cousin around.
But what’s that? A rusty little Civic is floating in the water.
The rusty little Civic that I just parked. Out of gear. On a slope. Facing the water.
My first full-scale failure.
A crowd. A boat. A tractor. A rope. Susie’s mechanic-Dad gets it running.
I squeeze out the seats. Cover them in blankets. Gussy myself up and pick up my hunky ex-boyfriend for our planned boat-cruise party date.
Twenty-nine years later — To. The. Day. — I learned that my long-lost cousin Susie and I are both breast cancer survivors.
Good thing we’re resilient.
We’re going to be fine.