The world lost Momo Nagano today. I wish I had a photo to share of her with you so you could see her bright smile and the long silver braid that she wore as her preferred style. She was my best friend’s mom and she was a good one. (Bloggers note: I added the photo of the card’s Diana made of her mom’s smiling face for the “Momo-rial.” See what I mean about a smiling face.)
Diana’s parents split when Diana was young and, for the most part, her dad simply disappeared from the scene leaving Momo to raise four young children on her own. Four kids. That’s tough with both parents let alone for a single parent in the 1950s. Momo did it though and she did it well. She was a weaver and all of her children have an artistic bent. Diana’s brother is a free-spirited actor; her sister Maria runs a museum and raised an equally talented daughter Hanna; her sister Poppy works at Disney but does trapeze on the side and collects fine pieces of handmade furniture; and Diana is a superb graphic designer and a kind and thoughtful person. They are all talented individuals and Momo was fiercely proud of all of them. And they loved her mightily in return.
Like most of us, Momo was colorful. Besides being a renowned weaver, she loved to play the slots and never passed up a chance for a weekend away in Las Vegas. She was very competitive – and crazy about games. She loved them all and really loved to watch Wheel of Fortune and guess the puzzle before the contestants. : ) Being Japanese American, living in the USA during WWII, she and her family were put in a Japanese internment camp. I never heard her speak ill of that time but she kept in touch with the others who went through that same experience with her family.
Somehow a lifetime seems so long when you’re young and so short when you aren’t. Ultimately, even when you make it to your senior years like Momo did, it still all goes by too terribly fast. I am going to miss her but I am so glad I got to know her. And I will try to help take good care of her daughter as she works through the long adjustment to a world without her mom. Momo would want that.