"Do the music" does not mean that Mama Rose plays the organ. Or the guitar. Or any instrument. It means that Mama Rose puts the cassette into the tape player at the back of the trailer that serves as their Catholic church and fast forwards to Josh Groban singing "Panis Angelicus".
She said to tell you that she had written ideas down for her post all over the house; the only problem is that when she went to gather them, she couldn't read her writing. So once the funeral mass is over and she stretches out her tape-playing index finger and gets to the computer, she's pretty much starting at zero.
I do kind of wonder what she's going to say. Will she tell you about her beauty contests? The time she volunteered to test out scuba diving gear in a giant see-through tank at a convention at McCormick Place? The time Tony Bennett yelled at her because she was laughing too much during his concert? Learning to ski at age 55 or buying a Wave Runner at 77?
Or maybe she'll tell you a naked story. She has a few.
This past Christmas, Mama Rose gave me one of her "Did I ever tell you about the time I…" beginnings. (Generally, these continue on into some insane story, at the end of which I say "No. You definitely never told me about that.") This time it was "Did I ever tell you about the time I put a big red bow around my neck and laid down naked under the Christmas tree to surprise your father?" Um… no, etc. (see response above).
But that tale of purposeful nakedity did remind me of a time of accidental nakedity. I was in high school and Mama Rose was walking through the house naked after her shower and my boyfriend Paul walked in the (open) door. They both screamed at the top of their lungs. Mama Rose disappeared into her room and didn't emerge for a few hours. And I think when she did come out, she was wearing a turtleneck, overalls and gloves. The good news is that, despite this incident, or maybe because of it, they are still friends thirty years later.
One of the things I've always liked best about Mama Rose is her zest for life. With clothes or without, or with just a light covering of sequined push-up bra and a few veils, she's always ready for an adventure. I definitely inherited her adventurous spirit (although mine tends to run toward clothed fun), and nothing makes me happier than when she hears some crazy thing I've done and says "You're just like your old Ma."
It's the highest compliment. Almost makes me want to put a jewel in my navel. Almost.