When I was little, my grandmother (Momo. They were ALL Momos) was a highly revered, sometimes feared and always respected woman of a strong presence.
I am now a grandmother and I don't feel like what I thought my Momo felt like. She was so old, even then. My Momo scared me and loved well beyond reason. When she wasn't looking she taught me all about Love Letters.
She was, like, Jackie Kennedy's mom old.
She was old. For.real.
And, then there was my mom. She lived through the depression. She grew up in the Strawberry Hill section of Kansas City. She was the daughter of an insurance salesman and a full-time, old-school saint of a mother. More Lace-Curtain Irish than not.
They were Uber-Catholics. Momo played piano by ear and Papa Leo sang with his brothers in a barbershop quartet. They lived a version of reality that I don't think you could imagine. There were late nights full of 3 part harmony and slamming doors. Screaming sisters and not enough milk.
My mom and all her sisters had their hair permed by hooking up jumper cables to the chandeliers in the dining room. When somebody got physically broke or tore up, they sent one of the girls across the alley to get the doctor.
This Irish-Catholic Matriarchy is not what I would have ordered off the menu, but - it's what I've got and I'm all about my Momo now.
My Momo probably saved my teeny weeny life a time or two, but everyone who could validate this has already moved along. I can't go anywhere and research this, but I've been told. She was my Momo.
Now I am a Grandma. A Momo. I don't look like a Momo.
Wow. I so really did not think I'd live this long. There's this deal about being a musician. When you're playing live, you don't ever want to follow somebody who is way way better than you.
The deal about being a Momo is that ....
The bar is set so high.
The Momos before me have set precedent.
I'm pretty sure I can.
I'll Google it.