Tuesday Testimonials

Day Three of days with purpose typing. It reminds a little of what I am doing on YouTube – A Day in My Life Daily Vlog (under vylinghart@gmail.com – I might be able to name it soon since I’m regularly adding video, guess what I’ll name it? Hehe).

I have a hope to build a small media empire (sure) to be able to bring light to the homeless situation here in Alameda County, Tri-Valley Area, the East Bay of the San Francisco Regional Area, since all people hear is San Francisco which is pretty much a world away for most here in the Tri-Valley Area without a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ticket.

This will grow and change. This is my plea and my cause. And God’s plan for me, whether you believe in that or not, but I do.

So, for today, I will give a testimonial, though some of you have more than likely thought “haven’t you DONE that consistently”? To a degree.

I have always been a person who wanted to be “clean”. Groomed. Bathed. Hair styled and makeup subtle. Contact lenses on and glasses put away since they are an obstruction on my face and I don’t see as well. Or breathe easily. Thank God they don’t use glass anymore, but polycarbonate. Remember the phrase “Coke bottle glasses”? How thick the glass bottoms were on a bottle of Coke? That would be me!And those polycarbonate lenses coatings fail, they scratch, and the lenses become cloudy. And there is nothing you can do when the coating starts to fail. My “current” predicament. I’ve worn my contact lenses 2 days this month, since I had access to bathroom and could wash my hands and be sanitary.

Speaking of 2 days, I have taken a shower twice this month. When I showered on CHristmas Eve, I hadn’t showered in over 2 weeks, 3 for Will. The last time was when went to Del Valle Regional Park and used the showers in the campground. It was more than two weeks for both of us at that point.

Being at our very adult age, being denied the human need of bathing is so difficult. We could have gone to the church who offers it once a week or 3 days a week, but we had appointments with doctors or therapists, and we have to camp out for hours or loose our spots. As with everything being homeless, hurry up and wait. What else do have to do? Indeed.

There is much about homelessness that is hurry up and wait, which is interesting when there are few places you can go. There is the McDonald’s on P Street, or the library. I choose Starbucks due to the WIFI and tea. But, when I first became homeless, I didn’t know where I could go. There is no checklist for “If you’re homeless in Livermore”. We’ve got the Labs (Lawrence Livermore) here, so there is money. Hell, Martha Stewart has been here. We are not an island in a vast wasteland.

Though, it does cause you to contemplate (often) how did I come to this situation. Will and I have the same issue – loyalty to the family name and family pride. Will was Dorothy’s Grand Champion, her knight in shining armour. He did his mother proud! Caring for her for over 10 years and not expecting anything – and that’s the problem. He expected nothing, but his brother destroyed any sense of truth or valuing family when Gary had him removed as his mother’s executor, and HE probably stole the copy of the trust that Will had at the house (Since Gary and Colleen treated Dorothy’s house as their property entering any time they wanted). Will valued family. Gary does not, especially his brother who is an obstacle to everything, supposedly.

I valued family. What little I had that Gun hadn’t destroyed all sense of. I just remember Dad asking me to take care of her if anything happened to him. She would outlive him, he knew. Well, she made sure of that! And I did, because I promised Dad. She was like a poison to my soul, but I wouldn’t let Dad down, even after death. Did she appreciate my “sacrifice”? Ah, hell no! She complained that I lived in her house. She complained that I had clothes of mine in her closet. She complained that my Diabetic diet intruded on her “groceries” and caused her fridge to “smell” (fresh produce smells like fruits and vegetables, not moldy trash). When I cooked dinner for us, she complained about the smell and the stove being on (could cause a fire, afterall) and complained about the dishes that had to be washed (which I did since the dishwasher was “broken” due to lack of use and rubber dying out). Because eating one of two frozen dinners was so healthy? She was malnourished and trying to get her to eat produce was so difficult, unless it was in a frozen dinner or a can with high fructose corn syrup.

Dorothy wanted to eat a Swiffer. Gunn wanted to eat anything that wasn’t freshly made. Dorothy didn’t try to kill Will. She adored her oldest boy. I had loved Gunn, as one does the mother-figure in her life, but I didn’t like or trust her. I had decades of reasons why not to. And after her death, I learned of the extent of her machinations of separating Dad from his family. Regardless of your personal reasons for disliking your in-laws, to not notify his family that he is dead is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels. Did you hate his ex-wife so much, and their son, that you couldn’t see past that you homewrecker? Even after 43 years?

Hindsight is 20/20, and Gunn had so may tells. So much makes sense now that I know the missing details. The truth shall set you free, and that sentiment should be engraved on her headstone. It set her free, set me free, and can alleviate Dad’s soul of so much grief and loss that can never be corrected. I am absolved of guilt, much to her chagrin.

What I still can’t understand is why her family thinks I’m lying. Spoilt child not getting her way (Fuck up Freddy. Your Dad was a shit, treated your mother like shit, and my Dad defended her. DEFENDED HER. Get that through your head, but the apple doesn’t fall far from THAT tree, does it?). This is what I do not understand, other than intense denial for something they never saw with their own eyes. She was their older sister. Always putting on airs, being better than everyone else, living a Hollywood lifestyle and forgetting her Norwegian Farming and Christian roots. Forgetting all the morality taught to her by her parents. Claiming to be Born Again, when she never picked up a bible, listened to a sermon, went to Church other than on Christmas, or practiced Christian Kindness ever! The woman they thought she was never existed in MY lifetime. She lied to them for decades, and they heard nothing else. Saw nothing else.

To bring this full circle, Gunn is the one who gave me the personal expectations that I live by. How my clothes could never be dusty, or – God forbid – muddy. Why dogs were never allowed in the house, due to their being so filthy. Having to “dress” to get the mail, go to the grocery store, or do gardening. She never left the house without mascara. How critical she was over my weight, my marriage, my reading, my knitting, my needlework, my lack of children. All intentionally done to provoke her! To put her in a bad light. Newsflash, battleax, it ain’t your life! If she were alive today and she knew it had been more than 2 days since I had bathed, she would be livid! A personal embarrassment her. Wouldn’t matter the cause, just that her tender delicacies would be bruised.

Lack of bathing, sleeping in a car, not doing laundry for a month, so many no-no’s. What choice have I had? Not a plethora.