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Is Life One Big Goodbye: Homeless Woman's Survival Story

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I blend into the walls, like other women: faceless, no expression—a dead look. I’ve lost my identity, my individuality. I no longer know myself. The other women are young, Black, Hispanic, few White, like me. If there’s a ‘me’ underneath this faceless disguise that has attached itself to my body, I want it to leave, now! After having been married with children, colonial ho I blend into the walls, like other women: faceless, no expression—a dead look. I’ve lost my identity, my individuality. I no longer know myself. The other women are young, Black, Hispanic, few White, like me. If there’s a ‘me’ underneath this faceless disguise that has attached itself to my body, I want it to leave, now! After having been married with children, colonial home, belonging to golf country clubs, and divorce, at age 68, after surgery and medical bills, I had no other choice but to sign myself into a Homeless Shelter. About Author: Rose Lamatt was born on Long Island, NY, daughter of an emigrant Italian father and a mother from South Philly. She married, raised a family and lived on Long Island until moving to Florida in1985. She always had a passion for writing. Over the years she has learned that life can change in the blink of eye; and because of several “blinks”, her passion came out. She writes of her past with great respect and has learned that by giving of yourself, you learn the best of yourself.


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I blend into the walls, like other women: faceless, no expression—a dead look. I’ve lost my identity, my individuality. I no longer know myself. The other women are young, Black, Hispanic, few White, like me. If there’s a ‘me’ underneath this faceless disguise that has attached itself to my body, I want it to leave, now! After having been married with children, colonial ho I blend into the walls, like other women: faceless, no expression—a dead look. I’ve lost my identity, my individuality. I no longer know myself. The other women are young, Black, Hispanic, few White, like me. If there’s a ‘me’ underneath this faceless disguise that has attached itself to my body, I want it to leave, now! After having been married with children, colonial home, belonging to golf country clubs, and divorce, at age 68, after surgery and medical bills, I had no other choice but to sign myself into a Homeless Shelter. About Author: Rose Lamatt was born on Long Island, NY, daughter of an emigrant Italian father and a mother from South Philly. She married, raised a family and lived on Long Island until moving to Florida in1985. She always had a passion for writing. Over the years she has learned that life can change in the blink of eye; and because of several “blinks”, her passion came out. She writes of her past with great respect and has learned that by giving of yourself, you learn the best of yourself.

47 review for Is Life One Big Goodbye: Homeless Woman's Survival Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Homeschoolmama

    This is perhaps my favorite of the Lamatt memoirs. I liked her little stories, again, written in a diary-like format (and once again rife with grammatical mistakes!), and her descriptions of her fellow homeless 'housemates' in the shelter. I sympathized more w/Lamatt in this book, though I still find it hard to relate to Lamatt as a mother. She left her family-her drunken husband and her two children- to go live with a friend. She moved several states away, never to return, and called her childre This is perhaps my favorite of the Lamatt memoirs. I liked her little stories, again, written in a diary-like format (and once again rife with grammatical mistakes!), and her descriptions of her fellow homeless 'housemates' in the shelter. I sympathized more w/Lamatt in this book, though I still find it hard to relate to Lamatt as a mother. She left her family-her drunken husband and her two children- to go live with a friend. She moved several states away, never to return, and called her children weekly, according to her. And yet she wonders why her 'family has abandoned' her. It sure seems to me that she was the one doing the abandoning, not the other way around... And so now, in this book, she finds herself alone without a place to live, her friend had died, and somehow she hasn't anyone at all whom she can call on for help..... It is amazing to see how people like Lamatt and her housemates there at the shelter fail to see their part in their fates.... But despite that, her writing is interesting and I found myself not wanting to put the book down. It would be wonderful if Lamatt found herself a good editor, a professional one, who could help her with her writing, as she is a good story teller.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I never finished this novel it was so badly written and riddled with typos. The writer gave it to me from Gather but the site is closed down. I feel terrible but trying to get through this was torture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Hogg

    I found that parts of this book offended me. Lamatt never let the reader forget that she was a 68-year-old white woman surrounded by women of color. At the beginning of the book, she mentioned that she had never slept in a room with people of color before. So what? What did she think would happen? As a 64-year-old black woman who has both worked in shelters and stayed in shelters, I admit that she did a good job of illustrating the tedium and chaos of shelter life. But some of her comments about I found that parts of this book offended me. Lamatt never let the reader forget that she was a 68-year-old white woman surrounded by women of color. At the beginning of the book, she mentioned that she had never slept in a room with people of color before. So what? What did she think would happen? As a 64-year-old black woman who has both worked in shelters and stayed in shelters, I admit that she did a good job of illustrating the tedium and chaos of shelter life. But some of her comments about her interactions with the black women around her were problematic. She told two black women who were discussing racism that racial discrimination no longer exists. She stated that she could never understand black women and their hair. Her constant mention of teeth when describing black people in the shelter was a little "Sambo-esque." When she went to apply for disability she said, "I wish I spoke and read Spanish, or maybe was another color; maybe then help would come to me." As a former SSA disability analyst and current social worker assisting people experiencing homelessness with disability applications, I found her comments elitist, unnecessary and erroneous. She keeps referencing her former life, to make sure that the reader remembers that she is not like the women of color in the shelter. But how does she know that some of these women didn't also once have nice houses, go to Broadway shows, and play tennis and golf? She indicated that she grew up in a mixed neighborhood, as if that gives her a diversity free pass. (So did I, and some of my neighbors were the most racist people I have ever met.) I don't think that the author was intentionally racist or realized that her comments might be interpreted differently by black readers. A good editor would have picked this up and probably shortened this book by at least 100 pages so the narrative would read less like a very long diary.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    After reading Ms. Lamatt's Alzheimer's book I felt the need to know about the next chapter in her life. Who would have thought that she would be in a situation of homelessness? That is just one of the many profound points made in this book. To experience what she went through via this diary style book was touching. It reached me in ways I could not be reached just by talking in general about homelessness. When looking at this life from a bird's eye view I was taken in by the honesty and sadness After reading Ms. Lamatt's Alzheimer's book I felt the need to know about the next chapter in her life. Who would have thought that she would be in a situation of homelessness? That is just one of the many profound points made in this book. To experience what she went through via this diary style book was touching. It reached me in ways I could not be reached just by talking in general about homelessness. When looking at this life from a bird's eye view I was taken in by the honesty and sadness of this life. I was also made aware of changes for the better, gradually. It was a grief process in my point of view. And the spiritual struggles made this a heart rendering portrayal of what a person really goes through. This experience made me want to read and know more about homelessness. This book inspires you to take it to that next level. What is next in Ms. Lamatt's life? I would love to know.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane Crouch

    Would have rated higher, but this book needed a good editor! Sooooo many grammatical and spelling mistakes!

  6. 4 out of 5

    AMA FENNY

  7. 4 out of 5

    jeanne larimer

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dee Knapp

  10. 4 out of 5

    rebecca prost

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim Mcphee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim Duggan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela M.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rose Lamatt

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Jackson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annie Booker

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nena

  18. 5 out of 5

    SUSAN BROMANN-SMITH

  19. 4 out of 5

    Belinda Burd

  20. 5 out of 5

    betty w durham

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eilis Murphy

  22. 5 out of 5

    pandi wilson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary Easterling

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Fleming

  25. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Spiegols

    Surprising I really didn't expect much from this book, but I read it anyway as I am currently serving on the Board of a women's shelter just being formed. I Although it could use some editing, Rose presented the reader with an honest portrait of her life in the shelter. Although she certainly wasn't the type of person that I would expect to find there, it made me realize that anyone could go through a rough time and find themselves there. She learned to be more compassionate, more giving, to find t Surprising I really didn't expect much from this book, but I read it anyway as I am currently serving on the Board of a women's shelter just being formed. I Although it could use some editing, Rose presented the reader with an honest portrait of her life in the shelter. Although she certainly wasn't the type of person that I would expect to find there, it made me realize that anyone could go through a rough time and find themselves there. She learned to be more compassionate, more giving, to find the strength she needed within herself, to love those who were different and that God is always good.

  27. 4 out of 5

    naomi o neill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Delores Jackson

  29. 5 out of 5

    wanda labounty

  30. 5 out of 5

    Larry

  31. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  32. 4 out of 5

    Chapters Health System

  33. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

  34. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

  35. 4 out of 5

    Charlene Keating

  36. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  37. 5 out of 5

    VILMA

  38. 5 out of 5

    Sue Campbell

  39. 4 out of 5

    Shirley J

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  41. 4 out of 5

    Marlis

  42. 5 out of 5

    Skylar

  43. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kathie Waters

  45. 4 out of 5

    Rose Lamatt

  46. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Robertson

  47. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

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