Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter

It’s funny how things you see or hear tap into a feeling from an earlier time. Christmas lights and/or the Herman's Hermits song Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter sung by Peter Noone does that for me. When I see the lights on the dark, I am at peace. When I hear the song,  I relax, feel safe, then I get a little melancholy.

The worst was right before the end. Dad was out of control. He was angry, crazy and violent. And drunk. A lot. There is so much that I don’t remember from that time. But one thing I do, well parts of it at least.

It is late and I was in bed but now I am standing in the dark hallway looking into the living room. I can see the television, a side table and part of the couch. I also see my Dad choking my Mom. Both of his hands around her throat, her arm flies out and hits the lamp and it crashes to the floor. The next thing I remember is lying in my sister TJS’s bed, my face buried in her back.

Years later I learn that there is more to the story. Things I had blocked out.

I was not alone in the hall that night. My sister CAS was there too, behind me. She too saw Dad and Mom, and Mom’s hand hit the lamp. Then she did something, she screamed. That scream made Dad stop. My sister then turned and ran back to bed in the same bedroom she shared with TJS. So while I was climbing in bed with TJS, CAS was climbing into her bed. My Mother came into the bedroom and said to CAS, "Your father wants you." When CAS and my mom were back in the living room, our father said to CAS, "You wanted to watch, now watch." and started hitting Mom again. I don't remember any of it.  I also don’t remember the police coming or Dad going to jail. The ironic thing is CAS doesn't remember me being in the hall or my getting into bed with TJS. Trauma can do that, prevent memories from being formed.

I don’t remember if it was before or after that, but one night around the time when all the craziness was happening CAS was in the kitchen making dinner. Mom wasn’t home from work and no one else was home. I was in the living room, sitting in a stuffed chair that rocked. The Christmas tree was up and the tree lights were the only lights in the room. The pine scent and the soft glow of red, blue, green and amber lights filled the room. The sparkle of the colors on the tinsel was so beautiful. I was gently rocking in the chair and CAS had her Herman Hermits record playing.

Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter
Girls as sharp as her are somethin' rare
But it's sad, she doesn't love me now
She's made it clear enough it ain't no good to pine


I was relaxed, no one unpredictable was there.

She wants to return those things I bought her
Tell her she can keep them just the same
Things have changed, she doesn't love me now
She's made it clear enough it ain't no good to pine


I was safe no one was angry.

Walkin' about, even in a crowd, well
You'll pick her out, makes a bloke feel so proud


I was at peace, nothing bad was about to happen.

If she finds that I've been round to see you (round to see you)
Tell her that I'm well and feelin' fine (feelin' fine)
Don't let on, don't say she's broke my heart
I'd go down on my knees but it's no good to pine


The melancholy is not a feeling from then, but now.
From realizing how crazy my world was that I remember being 5 and feeling safe.

Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)

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