Mothers and Daughters

I’m guessing my readers know that this is by no means my favorite day.

A lot of emotions going on lately, but today I choose to only acknowledge the positive emotions.

Two years ago, my mother passed away. And when I returned to Boston to finish school, I was lost. I was grieving and learning to deal with my new “motherless” life.

By chance I got an email from the Music Business department in the summer before the fall semester was due to start. It was about a position at the popular Berklee venue, Cafe 939 The Red Room.

The job description called for someone enthusiastic  hard-working, quick on their feet, and someone who had booking experience (which at that point I certainly hadn’t). I felt like I was under qualified  but at the last minute I said, “What the hell,” and submitted my resume and cover letter.

I got a call about an interview time and made sure to wear my FAVORITE business outfit: High waisted grey dress pants, my blue button down and my colorful COACH scarf (that was my mother’s) tied around my neck. I pulled my hair into a low bun and wore heels that were not too tall, but made me look professional.

I remember everything about this day.

It was the day I met Jackie Indrisano.

I walked into the green room of the venue and sat down for the interview. I thought I was going to be nervous, but Jackie made me feel right at home. I quickly discovered that I might not be under-qualified at all, but actually felt like it was the perfect fit!

A few days later I got the call from Jackie herself that I was a new member of the 939 team. I was ELATED! I already had a job at Berklee in the bookstore, but I was DETERMINED to make both my jobs work out as well as all my school work. At this point in my life… keeping busy was essential.

I came into the office for the first time and was absolutely intimidated. Jackie runs a tight ship at the venue and I felt like I was the scared new kid hiding in the corner.

That didn’t last long.

It was Jackie who showed me the ropes of the venue.

She drove me to the T when I worked late shifts.

She always made sure we had food and water if we were working late, and that we had plenty to take home.

I remember thinking to myself as we began to get to know each other better… “Wow, she reminds me a lot of Ro…”

Then there was the night where we were at a dinner celebration for one of the 939 family members. Jackie and I had a few margaritas and headed back to the venue because my boyfriend (at the time) was going to pick us up, drive Jackie to the orange line, and take me home.

Jon was running late, so we had a lot of time to talk to each other.

I think that was the moment that I knew this woman was going to be someone special in my life.

I talked about my mother, and she recounted the story of her father dying. I was so candid about my experiences, which was difficult for me at the time because everything was so fresh.

I don’t know that I’ve ever said this before, but I believe my mom sent Jackie to me.

I know, I know… it all sounds SO cheesy and whatnot, but I do.

I needed a mother figure in my life. I was lost. I was lonely. I was sad.

And Jackie was there to help guide me through it all.

Ro always believed in guardian angels… so much so that she used to say it was a guardian angel who brought her and my dad together.

So now, I know Ro is my guardian angel, because she gave me Jackie.

In these two years that I’ve had the privilege to know her, Jackie has become more than a mentor. She’s become a surrogate mother, a life coach, a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate success with, and a friend to have a cocktail with!

I’ve been welcomed into her family and consider Angelo, Michaelangelo, Sadie and Baby Puppy my second family.

Words cannot express what this woman has done for me. She has provided the love and affection that I was missing so desperately after Ro passed away. She helped me move to New York CIty. She has gotten me audition opportunities, job opportunities, introduced me to SO many people in the industry and furthered my career. She has listened to me bawl my eyes out on the phone about my crazy life. She took care of my when my heart was broken by a boy I thought I was going to marry.

We went through the Boston Marathon Bombings together, and it only made us stronger.

And last of all: today is her birthday.

So happy Mother’s Day/Birthday to an incredible woman. You truly brought me back to life when I needed it most.


Shannon Allen



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