Kickin Cousins

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.

That’s forgiveness.
That’s resilience.

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.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Sheree Fitch

    Wow, wonderful. Gotta be something about numbers!

  • Ginny

    Surviving sure wasn’t a fail! Great parking job, by the way 😉

  • Priceless story. u00a0I love the hand position of each of you; it speaks of innocence and a measure of conformity. u00a0Susie and Andrea: resilient, resplendent, related; right on!

  • janice

    Wow, so it is true! Glad you survived then and now.

  • Kilowattross

    your parents must be great when they were not the least bit angry with you for this.u00a0 not many parents would have been so understanding.

  • Exactly!! In this case, my parents were forgiving, as I mentioned above, and understanding. There were lots of occasions on which my parents behaved in ways that were reasonable and even great. nnDespite this, their overall involvement has always been destructive, selfish, bullying, unreasonable, explosive, domineering and toxic.nnntBent on DestructionntThis isnu2019t turning into the party hang out I hopedntPeace Bond against Keith RossntIu2019ve Made a Huge MistakentToxic Leaks: An Apology to YountJourney Learning #6: FamilyntRethinking FamilynnnSo I’ve cut my losses and moved happily on. Hoping they will do the same.

  • Thanks, Janice!n

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  • Lucy and Bayla had the best response: nnNot many parents would set fire to a building while their daughter was in it. And then refuse to let her call the fire department. nnNot many parents would run a 3 day obituary for their two young granddaughters, complete with photos and full names, in the newspaper — and online coast to coast. nnNot many parents would pull attention-seeking fake-suicides.nnNot many parents would try to break down their daughters front door.nnNot many parents would prowl the neighbourhood and school yard of their out-of-town children, camera in hand.nnNot many parents would post photos of their estranged grandchildren on flickr and facebook.nnNot many parents would leave far-fetched, rage-filled comments on the blogs and flickr photos of strangers.nnNot many parents would spam their daughter’s cancer-blog with venomous and nonsensical comments.nnNot many parents would require a peace-bond to prevent them from harrassing their daughter and her young family. nnNot many parents would break said peace bond to continue the harrassment.nnYou get the picture.

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