In Memory of my Mom – Origins and Influences

Theatrical Intelligence in Triplicate

Mom died 2 weeks ago. Jeanne O’Sullivan Sachs: Oct 15, 1920 – July 19, 2009. I was blessed to be with her as she made her final exit, as were my siblings.  In her honor, I post “Three Moms”, taken by my younger brother Bob. It is the quintessential Mom: elegant, poised, and laughing at the delicious irony of life. “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.”

I’ll be posting my thoughts about my mother as soon as I have the presence of mind to edit my daily “ritual writings”. She had Theatrical Intelligence in abundance!

In the meantime, I’d like to share the a piece of writing dictated by Mom to me on Thanksgiving Day, 2007. She was 87. Our family was playing a game from Mary Pipher’s Writing to Save the World, called “I am from…” It’s about origins and influences.

So ladies and gentlemen, in her own words, Jeanne O’Sullivan Sachs:

* I am from Mortimer O’Sullivan, Patrick Ahearn, Ellen O’Brien, Agnes Ahearn, and John Mortimer O’Sullivan.

* I am from Irish Catholics and Irish Catholics and Irish Catholics and Irish Catholics!

* I am from Ireland, Ballyporene and green and history and the brogue.

* I am from Billerica and Boston.

* I am from “Children are seen and not heard”; “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”; “A book is your friend, you must not destroy it” and mass on Sunday morning (as late as possible for Dad!)

* I am from Mildred McKean the music supervisor telling my parents “You have a very gifted child” and arranging a cello for me.

* I am from… (no, that sounds too braggy!)

* I am from my doll Betty, a gift from Grandfather Ahearn – tailor to Harvard Square – making me jodhpurs when I was thirteen.

* I am from cello recitals and music camp as one of the professionals (I don’t know how they found me!)

* I am from summers on the Cape with my brothers and sisters in Wellfleet.

* I am from sitting at the soda counter and ordering an ice cream sundae while Dad always had a coke and said “…add a little lemon.” That was so grown-up!

* I am from Children’s Hospital and Sidney Farber at Harvard and Faure’s cello sonata which was when Ernie fell in love with me.

* I am from daffodils and 4/3/43, our wedding day.

* I am from 54 months of pregnancy, six kids, being a chauffeur, learning to ski, teaching cello, founding an orchestra and getting my masters – it didn’t take very long – they gave me credit for life.

* I am from my six children and my thirteen grandchildren and my great-grandson Jack and more “greats” on the way. (Good “Jeannes and Ernies”.)

* I am from…four score and seven years ago!

R.I.P. Mom.

Your final words were “Love you”. Thank you for everything. Love you too.



8 Responses to “In Memory of my Mom – Origins and Influences”

  1. Wendy Hanson says:

    So sorry about your loss but love how you have captured your Mother in so many ways. She clearly has lots Theatrical Intelligence.
    Warm Regards

  2. David says:

    Dear Ms. Sachs,
    I have been following your blog since its inception. This entry was quite beautiful. The words of your mother shimmer with love, beauty and delight. I have just now read them over and over. Thank you for sharing them. Be well.

  3. Edward says:

    I cannot help but make mention of THE WORK OF MOURNING by Jacques Derrida’s (French Philosopher). In it he makes an important point about how there is, in this kind of circumstance, nothing more important, no voice more important than that of the deceased and you have been faithful to that concept. In rendering your mother’s words for us I’m sure we can all hear her beautiful voice.

  4. Yasmin says:

    I have been following this very interesting and informative blog since its inception after an actress friend of mine told me about it. Reading the words of Ms. Sach’s mother was quite a wonderful experience. I wish the whole family well on recovering from the loss.

    On another note as a lawyer I have been thinking more and more of how I am using “Theatrical Intelligence” in my practice. I look forward to reading more on this blog.

    Thank You,

  5. Ann Sachs says:

    A hearty thank you those of you who have responded.

    This blog is still undergoing revisions before the official launch in September, and I appreciate your input. Please feel free to make suggestions as to what you would like to see here. I am listening!


  6. Yasmin says:

    Hello Ann,

    What I would like to see more of? Well everything I’ve read here is already interesting and helpful. However since conflict is the nature of dramatic literature are there not stories of conflict and resolution that would ring true of our work experiences and how theatrical intelligence helps solve those tricky even sometimes unresolvable situations.


  7. Meryl says:

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mother. Having personally experienced the the “I am from” exercise, I know how powerful and revealing it is. It is wonderful that your mother was able to share her origins and influences with you–and that you, in turn, are passing it on to your readers.
    Warmly, Meryl

  8. Ann Sachs says:

    Thank you, Yasmin! What a terrific suggestion to come up with examples of dealing with conflict through Theatrical Intelligence. I have put your idea into my brain, and will come up with a blog on that very subject in the fall.

    It has been a slow summer blog-wise, given the loss of my Mom. I expect to pick up the pace in September, and hope you won’t get discouraged in the meantime.

    Thanks for your interest…


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