I remember making the playlist earlier this year of all her favorite songs. "Valerie" was the only song I had on twice because she enjoyed two versions of it. I hadn't listened to the song since then. I'd avoid it. It would come on in random stores/shops and I'd tune it out or just leave. As many times as I'd heard "Valerie" I didn't know it word for word and on that Monday, I had only 2 hours to learn it. I opened iTunes on the laptop, went straight to Aunty Beryl's playlist and sat on the Amtrak train from Philly to NY. I looked up the lyrics, listened to the melodies over and over and over again and it wouldn't sink in. Just as it hadn't then, just as I had wanted to forget it, I did. I asked if they would kindly have the lyrics on the stage for me. And they did.
I was picked up from Penn station and rushed right to the venue, right to the dressing room, right before stage time with barely enough time to get it together. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, Spank Rock & Pill all in the dressing room, all very welcoming. I was handed a set of the lyrics 5mins before I got on stage and smiled thankfully. Even staring at the lyrics, they wouldn't stay with me. I openly joked with the band and artists how I didn't know the words. They gave me the "OMG" looks. I promised them I'd be okay.
I emailed a copy of the lyrics to my blackberry. I decided that I was going to hold my blackberry during my performance and act like I was twitpic'n. Not because by that point I didn't know the lyrics, but because my screensaver on my blackberry is Brompton House, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool, England. My Aunty Beryl lived there. She made the best egg nogs EVER. She would make a roast dinner for you if you said you were a bit peckish. She loved that song "Valerie". And the last time I heard it was the day of her funeral. That playlist I made comprised of all the songs that we put together as a family, of all the songs that reminded us of her. The song I remember the most from that day was "Valerie". The picture of Brompton House on my blackberry got me through that performance. Twice. And I know she's with me. Singing her heart out along with crowd.
I miss her.
We all do.
R.I.P Aunty Beryl
"Well sometimes I go out by myself
and I look across the water
and I think of all the things, what you're doing
and in my head a paint a picture..." - Valerie