Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things that can't possibly be happening

My younger (and only) sister, Lisa Helen Ehrenholz (nee Foley), is quite possibly the only person I know who's literally put their foot in a door to prevent it from being closed in their face.

I know she did this, because she did it on my behalf several years ago. I was vacating the tenement apartment I'd lived in for the previous 18 or so months, and had managed to get a final inspection that pretty much said I should get a full refund for my damage deposit. This did not sit well with the slum--I mean, the landlord, who I came to understand never, ever, evvvvver gave departing tenants their money back, regardless of the state they left the apartment in or indeed the state of the apartment when the tenants arrived.

As was standard practice, the landlord sent me a cheque for a fraction of the deposit--and the cheque had one of those "I don't think they're really legally binding but they could make life difficult" declarations on the back that stated the amount on the cheque was the final and only payment owed anyone who attempted to deposit it.

I'm a complete wuss when it comes to stuff like this. Going along to get along doesn't make me happy, but making a stink frequently makes me even less happy. Catharsis works for some people; I've never really been one of them.

Fortunately, my sister was around, and she took this attempt to railroad her darling brother kind of personally. It was a kinder, gentler time, so I don't know if what she did would've been called stalking him then, but it certainly would be now. Not that she had a choice, mind you--the sleazebag absolutely refused to talk on the phone for any length of time, hanging up on her more than once.

So she parked herself outside his office building, and gave him a call or three. Eventually he answered. "Are you at your office?" she asked, and when he said yes she immediately said, "I'll be right up."

For a vile parasite who'd made a habit of avoiding pissed-off ex-tenants (read as "all ex-tenants"), this distressed him. So much so that he refused to open the door. So Lisa yelled a conversation through the door until he opened it. And when he attempted to end the conversation by closing the door, he couldn't, because her foot was in it.

Having this unstoppable, elemental force in his office threw the dick off his game, but he rallied. "Just have your brother sign the cheque I sent him, and I'll send another one for the rest of the deposit," he said. To which she replied, "Is that your dick you're trying to put in my ass?"

She walked out of the office block with a cheque for my full damage deposit back. And I've always admired her for that, and a lot more, including but certainly not limited to raising one hell of a kid with my niece, Cevyn.

Last night, I found out that Lisa went into cardiac arrest yesterday during surgery for complications arising from a gastric bypass surgery earlier in the week. Caught a redeye flight to Ottawa, which is where I'm writing this (and haven't slept for something like forty hours now, so sorry if this is less than coherent, but I don't think that's going to improve in the near term.) She's been comatose for more than a day now. The neurologist will be running the tests again tomorrow to see if she's more responsive, but there seems little reason to be optimistic. I've seen my father cry more in the last 9 hours than I have in the rest of my life combined. I'm fluctuating wildly between uncontrollable crying jags and periods where I can manage to distract myself with videos of stuff (can't really read things right now--even as I type these words the letters are crawling around their window like little worms.) I'm a little worried about Mum, largely because we haven't had much time together since the crap got airborne--she got to the hospital just in time for me to come back here to Lisa's house to get a few hours of (hah!) sleep.

Tiina will be here tomorrow--which is good because I'm turning into a #*&%ing basketcase rightg now--as will members of my brother-in-law's family.

I love my sister, so while I personally have trouble accepting the efficacy of such things, I'm going to close this out with something my Dad wrote in a mass-mailing to friends of the family this morning: "Whatever it is you do at times like this, please do it for us now. We appreciate it."


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