Haven’t wanted to talk about this for a long time, but here goes.
Some of you may remember my sister Rachel who died from Ovarian cancer in 2014.
My sister Lety was having stomach problems that year, but ignored them and kept it from the rest of us so she – like us – could focus on doing whatever we could to care for Rachel.
After Rachel’s death, Lety’s pain was too much, she went to the hospital in November, and was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
There was well over a year of Chemo which seemed to help until late May of this year. Treatment was stopped as her cancer metastasized and Chemo would only make it worse.
Since then we did whatever we could to make Lety’s days as great as possible. She appeared to be doing pretty good without the Chemo and enjoyed long walks with the dogs.
We began to hope for some kind of remission.
5 weeks ago it suddenly hit her hard and it went quickly downhill from there.
My sister died September 19, 2016.
We buried her September 26.
Lety’s happiness was giving to her friends and family. She was one of those people who could be counted on to be first to help with anything and everything. Such people have difficulty being the one who needs help, but it was because of her powerful character that she was the center of all our lives.
Lety is luckier than most, however, because she died surrounded by love. This unemployed little woman who would not, could not stop volunteering to physically help and be there for everyone, spent her last two weeks surrounded by a seemingly endless stream of people, who could gain nothing from their final compassion, but to know that Lety would be happy to see them one last time.
So many more came from all over the world. People Lety kept in touch with but had not seen in years. They came from other cities, other states, other countries. Not all of them arrived in time.
The funeral procession of cars was so long the police cleared the traffic on the I-45, in the fourth largest city in the U.S., so that the remains of one of Houston’s economically poorest citizens could travel to the final resting place.
To Leticia: for 21 years you were my Sister from another Mother.
I’m job hunting, which means I updated my resume on Monster.com and Career Builder. What that also means, and I understand this in advance, is that phone sales people and general idiots and companies that manufacture and sell general idiots, will call me.
I have not opened my phone and address up to the general public, who tend not to be idiots. But I have opened myself up to the general idiots who rent a broom closet and landline phone in an office building or public storage facility and seek to sell jobs to people like me.
So I have calls from unknown phone numbers go straight to voice mail for weeding.
The voice mail I speak of today is from what sounds like a woman and went like this,
“Hi, dis messab ib bor Ebwab. Ebwab, bis ib Besseshblubbublah. Bis craw ib regarbing bor Debblobby Bumbaclod stubee bawwing Houston, Texas. I came acrob uh job orberbor Ebub Mumumum, be Blumbumblum da resume ab Momber.bom. Bib ib in behalb ob BluBlurBubub. Bleb crawme ab blimbompum. Be bimb you could be a perfect fit. Aga, bis ib Besseshblubbublah. Blee craw me ah 800-XXX-XXXX. Bangbu n hab a grabe’ay.”
I couldn’t detect the tell-tale audio fuzz of a bad connection, but what else could it be? The phrase, “You could be a perfect fit” was the only part of the entire thing that made any sense. Maybe I’d been listening to a Vogon speak poetry and, for but a moment, a Babel Fish swam in and out of my ear.
I’m not sure if this is a job offer or a sales pitch, but whatever it is, it’s going down in Houston, Texas and I could be a perfect fit.
Well, what would you do if you were looking for a job (not to mention curiosity)? Naturally I called the number. I got a voicemail in what sounded like the same woman’s voice,
“Hi. Yuub hab reab Besseshblubbublah ah Debblobby Bumbaclod ob Houston, Texas. Pleeb leeb ah bois maid an I bill craw you bebor embbaday. Bangew bor crawing am habba nice day.”
I’m stunned, which is a few houses up the street from surprised.
I make myself some lunch.
I watch a few brief YouTube videos.
I watch a little TV, flip around the channels.
I call a few friends and we chit the chat.
No problem. It is not my hearing or my phone.
I cannot figure out this language, dialect, accent, slang, nothing!
I’m not calling this person with the atrocious grasp of English an idiot, as I have no ability to perceive her intellect at all.
I have traveled the world, but never heard anyone speak like this in my life.
Yet they have a business in Houston, Texas!