2021 Core Desired Feelings

I arrived at my core desired feelings a while ago, but wanted to sit with them, get to know them and try them on for size before I shared about them.    It’s such a sacred part of my Christmas/New Year process (and sometimes part of my summer!) that I really like to make them mine before sharing them with anyone else.  Of course, fellow facilitator Mel got a preview as I arrived at them, because… well because she’s just that person! 

Of course, for the full immersive Desire Map experience you should read the The Desire Map book or have a fabulous facilitator take you through the process, but I’m hoping that if you haven’t done either of those things, then this will give you some insight into the magic of how the process works and why it’s so important.  

My Core Desired Feelings for 2020 were Faith, Grace and Light and am I ever glad that these were the rocks that took me through this most challenging year!  I considered keeping them as they have served me so well this past year, but I believe I now have them so ingrained in my day to day and in my thinking, that further expansion and different ways to be needed to be explored.  There are grains of these old feelings in all the new ones, because they are so much a part of my life now.   After much lounging around scribbling and journalling and desire mapping I have arrived at these three core desired feelings for 2021.   Courage, Lucid and Suaimhneas.     I’ve done a little pic for each feeling – with the dictionary definition, my definition, and my touchstone quotes to be remembered.  

There’s an exercise in desire mapping that you do to get to know your CDFs a little better, and how they might express themselves.    You run through things your CDFs would like, adore, do etc.,   You can do this for each feeling, but some of mine this year are:  Courage loves to put her big girl panties on and take action.    Lucid adores when I’m organised.    Suaimhneas feels joy when I go swimming.   Lucid remembers to pause.    Courage wears whatever the fuck she wants to.   Suaimhneas listens to the sounds of nature/mother earth.    It’s a beautiful way to give your core desired feelings character and to see the traits that you want or need to embody yourself.  

Desire Map, Heart Centered membership and Grace for Impact have all been rocks in 2020.  I’ll be leaning into them and on to them even more in 2021 and hoping to bring their magic to even more people too.    I’m happy to discuss how I might be able to take you through the process and tailor a package for you so please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss it if it’s something that calls to you.    

Letting 2020 be…

When the news broke of another lock-down last night my hubby convinced us to get our warm gear on and we went to the beach to howl at the moon and let it all out (yip there were many expletives too!).   It’s been difficult watching my 12 year old and 15 year old struggle against the tide of restrictions we are under and parenting them through that.  We’ve banded together and reminded each other constantly that whatever happens our best way through it all is together. So far so good (or so far so managing to hang on as best we can!).  

This year I’m not eager to release myself from the year that was in it.  I’m not anticipating a big letting go of the year or planning a list of new year resolutions I won’t keep.   I feel that 2020 deserves more respect.   Those who lost so much to this year and our front-line workers deserve more respect.   It’s not a relief to let this year go, it’s an achievement to have survived it and I’m glad to have made so much progress in the midst of so much difficulty.   For my wild New Year’s Eve 2020, you will find me home with Spud, the girls and the doggos, dozing and trying hard to stay awake for midnight, glad that we made it and thankful for all the lessons and growth.   

I’ll be digging deep to stay grounded, resilient, calm and peaceful through yet another lock-down and focusing on what really matters – staying safe, minding loved ones and making the most.    From my heart to yours and our home to yours, stay safe, be well and I hope 2021 brings us all some peace, joy and radical compassion.   

My “How To”

What a week!  I’ve been busy – some of it on the QT and some of it too exciting not to shout it from the rooftop which is where I currently am in my mind!  

If you visit this blog regularly, you’ll know I am a Nutriri advocate, supporter and now facilitator.   Nutriri is volunteer run and everyone gives of their time, expertise and passion because we believe in the work we do with Nutriri and it’s value to anyone looking to find food and body ease and acceptance in a compassionate supportive environment.    And that’s what we’ve created! 

I describe Nutriri as my how to – having decided to embrace my body as it is a few years ago, I was left wondering how.   I mean there’s a mindset switch you make when you decide to release the conditioning of a lifetime and accept your body in all it’s fabulous flawsomeness, but there are practicalities and behaviours that take some work and encouragement to really help you shift your soul to a position of loving acceptance and appreciation.  I was still seeking that true transformation when I came across Helen James and Nutriri and found my how to.

If you’re looking for a compassionate, inclusive way to find your own way to peace and ease around food and body image then Nutriri might be for you.  

The course lasts 12 weeks and is entirely easy and enjoyable to take part in.  Every second week there’s a live session with one of our wonderful Nutriri Facilitators to chat through the issues arising for you and to jam on what we can help you with.  Each facilitator comes with their own unique set of skills and lived experience, but we all come with an open heart and mind and a wish to be of service and to help others.   These live sessions end with beautiful hypnotherapy and are a highlight of the course.    Because we’ve structured the courses to launch gradually and over the weeks into new year there’ll be a vast range of Facilitators for people to choose from.   We’ve endeavoured to accommodate as many options as we feasibly can so that the course is available to and resonant with anyone who is interested.  

Of course, there is the practicality of having to fill enough spaces to make this a viable enterprise for everyone concerned, so we are aiming to have a certain number of spaces filled in each cohort in order to launch whilst being open to changing/adapting/relaunching if necessary in order to make this successful and enriching for all.   We love, love, love feedback!   So if there is something you’d like to see, or something you’d like to be different, or that you believe would made it more appealing or accessible for you, then please get in touch and let us know.   

I believe I’ve found my version of food and body peace, together with my own way incorporating the right self-care, practices, rituals, routines and learning to be able to accept the ebb and flow of how I feel about food and how I appreciate what this amazing body of mine has done, does and will do.  It’s an ever-fluctuating thing but Nutriri has taught me acceptance and joy in realising that I am right where I am supposed to be – and that’s true each and every moment!  And it hasn’t just been around food and body ease.  My involvement with Nutriri has taught me so much and helped me to grow and learn as a person in ways I never considered needed my attention.   I feel part of a really special community of entirely accepting and loving group of people.   I feel understood – even on my worst days!   The support and community Nutriri has gifted me is something I can’t even begin to quantify.   And then there’s the introduction to FreeMind and the difference that’s made in my life too (see previous post on FreeMind here.

But now!   Now I get the chance to give back and share that with others and I’m stoked to be a part of something that I believe will change lives and bring much needed kindness, compassion and tenderness to the world.   

I’d love for you to go and check this out.  I’d love to hear what you think – whether or not you think it’s for you! So please do get in touch if you feel you’ve something to contribute that we need to hear.   Of course, if you’re massively impressed, enthusiastic and want to sign up – then fabulous!  

Obviously as volunteers we still have expenses that need to be covered – so we have an affiliate link system that we are hoping will do just that.  My affiliate link is here and will bring you to all our products.   We’re also offering to hold places with a small deposit so you can do that here

#nutriri #weightneutral #HAES #bodyacceptance #intuitativeeating #self-nurture movement #mynutriri #alisonmurphynutri #alisonmurphyblog

Mental Health In Irish Schools

I’ve posted on social media recently about my oldest daughter’s TY project to run a Mental Health Fair in her Transition Year (4th year) in school this year. Aisling was inspired by two things: 1) our own family struggle with her younger sister’s anxiety and the experience we had with her then school in getting compassionate support through school for her; 2) her own experience of the lack of sufficient support in secondary schools for anyone in crisis or needing intervention with their mental health. I am working on a blog post about our own experience but I’m finding it difficult to make my way through! It’s cathartic and wonderful as Niamh is now thriving and it’s taught us so much, but it’s one experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone else too.

I’m incredibly grateful to Aisling and Nicki Ringwood for turning this into such a wonderfully positive piece of proactive caring in the form of the Mental Health in Irish Schools project . They’ve been incredibly busy working with pulling together the fair for next month, podcasts for the future and so much more, and I have been busy doing the admin/backroom side of things!

We decided to start a petition to our government for mental health supports in Irish Schools as we believe this to be an important issue that needs attention, highlighting and discussion – not just with students and their parents, but in government also.   So far, only one week in, at time of writing, we are at 479 signatures.  

We would love to build on this and see the issue get more traction and attention and you can help us do that by signing, sharing, engaging in our posts on social media and our website and of course, by getting involved if you wish to  – just get in touch!   Please if you’re sharing add the hashtag #mhiis so we can track the shares and love you up for your support.  

https://mentalhealthinirishschools.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/mentalhealthinirishschools/

https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthinirishschools

email:  mentalhealthinirishschools@gmail.com

The pain we would live over and over…

Yesterday my friend and soul sister, Jane, had to part with her beloved Husky Boy Maska. Maska was a beautiful bounding bundle of husky fluff and joy. I only met him a handful of times, but was always welcomed for the husky love when I visited and the thing I’ll remember most about him was his insistence that I love him as much as possible while I was there. I speak to Jane most days in the mornings, and I’ve been through the last while with Jane doing all she could to keep her beautiful boy happy and well.

Jane’s love for her two huskies Rio and Maska, and for animals in general was, I suppose, what brought her and I together in a way – two meddlesome dog lovers asking questions and causing trouble at the pound in Wicklow many moons ago when Maska was only a young lad! I call her in the mornings after my kids have headed off to school. We chat dogs, chat to each other’s dogs (yes really, over the phone) and we generally take on the issues of the day and try to make things right. She’s seen me through my darkest days and I have done likewise for her. We’ve celebrated our wins, mourned our losses, and laughed buckets upon buckets of wonderful cleansing, joy filled laughter. Many of our conversations contain the sentence, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this out loud, but I can tell you…”

If you asked Jane about Maska, she would tell you that he saved her life. If you could ask Maska about Jane, he would say she saved his life. Rescued as a young dog, Maska came to Jane when she needed him as much as he needed her, and they grew with the ever lovely husky Rio into “Mac’s pac.” There were epic long daily walks many times a day, with Jane’s day largely revolving around getting the lads out for the walks! I’d go visit to fetch her from her home in Kilkenny to come visit with me in Wicklow, and while I was always welcomed, I often wondered if the lads hated to see me pull up outside and take her off for a few days – even though her son was always there to mind them in her absence.

I’ve heard her voice change as the realisations dawned about Maska’s failing health and she came to the unhappy conclusion that it may well be time to let him go. I could hear her heart break over the phone. It didn’t come easy but when it arrived, she knew. We know as the guardians of these beautiful creatures that there always comes a day that we have to say good bye, when we have to make that choice for our dogs, when life is too much and their bodies can’t keep going. It’s a bittersweet responsibility, but it never ceases to amaze me that you know, you just know, when it’s time. As dog lovers we sign up for this, over and over again, because the rewards are just to many to quantify with words and the love, joy and life our dogs bring to us somehow outweighs the pain of their loss.

Jane gave Maska the best home any dog could wish for. There were adventures daily. The best of food. The best of love. The best of her. She’d have moved mountains to make him well and have had him for longer, but it wasn’t to be. He’d have moved mountains for her too. It’ll be her and Rio now, walking the walks and making new adventures for the daily treks. A small pack diminished by a third but expanded by the love of Maska.

Godspeed and run free you crazy husky floof Maska. You were a truly joyful Totally Epic Dog and it was an honour to know you.

Love you Jane. xxx

FreeMind

A while ago I had the pleasure of taking part in a days training for Nutriri with Tom Fortes Mayer of FreeMind. It was a really expansive, powerful experience that left me wanting more and I was delighted to be able to take up The FreeMind Rapid Change Therapy Training when it came up a few months ago. (Thank you Helen James for the gentle nudging – you are epic!).

I have been on this adventure of self-development and self-knowing for these last few years and it’s been a blast, but there were issues and hurts that I knew I wasn’t processing or dissolving that emotionally and physically still felt stuck for me. I had a knot in my chest and throat that was so constant I learned to live with it and enjoyed the times (usually swimming!) when it seemed to disappear a while. I knew deep down, that there were things holding me back, keeping me small, stifling my wish to freely express myself. I’m all about the heart, and living from there, so when it felt heavy, and when I admitted that, it felt like it was holding me back, I knew there was something that I had to do. FreeMind felt like a fit.

Nothing could have prepared me for this beautiful training. It stretched me in ways I hadn’t realised I needed to stretch and I was initially surprised by how challenging I found it to delve into the things that I needed to work on. My resistance was met with loving support and tenderness at each step as we were guided through the FreeMind experience, learning from the inside.

This is powerful stuff. I’ve expanded, healed, dissolved and released so much over this experience. I’ve met the parts of me that needed to be angry, to really dive in and feel the hurt, the loss, the fears and to be acknowledged, thanked and lovingly brought back home into my being. I’ve danced with seven year old me on the shores of Glendalough. I’ve had conversations with the universe about not taking things so fucking personally. I’ve written letters to people long gone and felt their love and life bubble up in my heart.

I’ve realised that we are all one and that in that oneness we are never alone. I will continue to expand, heal, dissolve and release for the rest of my days. I will do my utmost to share and guide others to do the same, because now I have the tools to do so.

The knots I spoke of are gone. They’ve been dissolved and I am left free and confident that I have the skills and ability to help myself back to peace, power and purpose whenever I need to.

A few people have asked me about how I found this training. I’ve replied that my mind, body, heart and soul have been blown wide open. My job now is to keep them that way.

I’ll be working on my case studies this next while so if you’re interested in some hypnotherapy with me I’d love to hear from you! Email me at: alisonmurphyblog@gmail.com

My First Nutriri Offering…

Well it’s been a few years coming! In November 2017 I reached out to a woman in the UK named Helen James. She had a vision to co-create a social enterprise providing a compassionate alternative to restriction diet clubs and diet culture. It’s grown into an awesome group of volunteers and has been co-created to a point where we’re now launching our first courses.

When I’m asked to describe what Nutriri has meant to me I always say it gave me my “How to” after the beautiful realisation that I didn’t have to continue to try to change my body to suit someone else’s ideal or indeed my own unrealistic expectations of what it should look like. I stalled, not knowing exactly how to reach this expanded, inclusive, beautiful nourishing vision of body acceptance and food ease. Then I found Nutriri. It’s aptly described as a self-nurture movement and empowers people to help themselves find their own version of what works for them.

The wonderful thing about the launch of these courses is the flexibility we’re aiming for. Courses run for 12 weeks from January 6th, with various (all wonderful!) facilitators offering different times so that it’s easy for anyone to join in where they’re at.

My course begins January 21st. Cost is GBP150 for the 12 weeks, or GBP50 x 3 installments.

Do you want to say yes to discovering your own awesome self-nurture how to?! Sign up at my affiliate link here.

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Back to the blog… And what I’ve been up to! (I think!)

Someone mentioned they were going to check out my blog the other day. My little heart jumped a bit!

I realised I hadn’t posted since summer, when my days were spent filling my car with sand on trips to Brittas Bay to swim my heart out and to connect with the awesome tribe that has become the Wicklow Bluetits. Gosh I miss those beautiful lazy days spent planning the swim, swimming the swim, chatting and laughing and getting tangled in tight vests and tricky knickers, all the while laughing in the warmth of the sun and each other. We are still swimming. It’s a few times a week. It’s currently at the harbour beach in Wicklow, which is stoney, deep, sheltered and unless there’s particularly stormy weather, calm. It is a great winter alternative swim spot. We do the changing dance at the boots of our car – the same tangled items of clothing and laughter, with the addition of sticky boots/socks, gloves and always, always a drink of something hot in the flask and a quick chat and giggle while we attempt to get warm. But I miss the sand. And the sounds of the waves on the sand. And the feeling of being part of nature while you swim – no noise other than the sea, the birds and the wind. December 1st, Brittas Bay. Me, the sea. It’s a date.

The big news in my world is the awesome and very important work undertaken by daughter in her transition year of school this year. Aisling supported and watched as we all struggled to guide Niamh through a particularly difficult time of anxiety and school refusal over the last few years. Thankfully this is becoming a memory for us now and Aisling’s steadfast interest in making a difference to kids going through this at school has resulted in a massive positive being made from something so painful. Some day, I’ll finish writing the story in full, but for now the newspapers are telling it for us. You can find out more on her new, currently under construction and constant improvement, website here. I’m working on a petition along side this and it will be shared here as well as through the Mental Health in Irish Schools website and socials.

Since the girls returned to school I’ve had a little more time for myself. Honestly I’ve been breathing, taking some time and probably procrastinating more than is healthy! I’ve been feeling the dip of energy that my low thyroid can bring, but am balancing this out with some tlc and the help of my lovely friend Gráinne Flanagan of Ayam Healing.

I’m finally now getting to grips and have made some wonderful connections in the last while. For the last few years I’ve been chatting with Melanie Clark Pullen of Strut and Bellow, who is a fellow Desire Map Facilitator and crazy swim lady. We both shipped in planners in bulk this year and have worked together to shepherd people looking for planners in the UK and Europe to the right person. I think I have a new sister of choice! Mel and I are working on a Heart Centered Circle for those bought planners, which will run for the month of January and also be open (at a small fee) to those who want to learn more about Desire Map, working with Core Desired Feelings and planning your day from your heart centre. For anyone interested, please email us at heartcenteredcircle@gmail.com. There’ll be a launch party soon – watch my Instagram for details coming up!

This program has kept me on track, grounded, in touch with my joy and has been instrumental in improving and expanding my resilience this year. It’s been a tricky one – I needed the help! It’s a monthly program with oh so many strands of magic and beacons of hope for your day to day joy. Here’s the list of what’s what you can look forward to.

  • A monthly Perspective to get the heart and the ego on the same page.
  • A meditation + mantra—technologies to heal and expand.
  • Full and New Moon Write + Burn exercises for cleansing our energy bodies. Release emotional suffering, make room for clarity.
  • Members-only Heart to Heart Q+As every other week on Zoom. Pre-submit personal questions (relationships, esoterica, heart centered business… anything!) This community is DEEP. 
  • A practice to support the embodiment of the perspectives.
  • A playlist in sync with each month’s theme. On Spotify and YouTube.
  • Desire Mapping prompts, rituals, poems, recommended oils, and more! Generosity is a Heart Centered favourite
  • .A tree planted on your behalf every month you’re in Heart Centered.

Doors are open today ‘til November 30th. If your heart is feeling the tug… Click here and explore the membership.

Ah I think I’ve saved the best till last! I’m working on my Nutriri training. It’s taking time as I’ve found it difficult to restore some work balance in my life! I’m determined not to rush so I can give the best I have to offer when I do begin to work as a facilitator. Helen James, Nutriri founder and another sister of choice, gently placed an idea in my mind a while back – FreeMind: Inner Child Healing Hypnotherapy. I’ve just completed the first half of this training with an amazing bunch of like minds and wonderful people over four days last week. I’m still processing but I’m so excited to bring this to my guidance offering soon.

So that’s the update on my working life right now and the current projects and passions that have my attention. I’m totally free to facilitate Desire Map journeys and will also soon be available for Nutriri facilitation and weaving these together with FreeMind Hypnotherapy to guide people on their quest for their own path home to their hearts. I’m excited for what’s coming.

I Go Swimming

“Swimming might be the closest to flying
a human being can get. There is something
about your body displacing water

in order to propel through space that makes you feel
Godtouched. That makes me understand evolution,
that we really must have crawled up from the sea.”

― Elizabeth Acevedo, Clap When You Land

My first memory of water was when I was about three years old I think. A wave washed me over on a family holiday. I can close my eyes and see the froth and bubble and my mother’s hands as she searched for me in the surf. I had no fear, just fascination for the sounds and the sea. It lasted seconds. My next childhood memory was being brought to Dun Laoghaire baths for swimming lessons. The teacher wanted me to hold my breath underwater for as long as I could. So I did. I wondered as I watched from below the water why they all looked frantic – I stayed longer than I should apparently, and they were worried. Swimming lessons it seems, were not for me.

My siblings and I are all swimmers.  We swam as kids – anywhere there was beach – usually Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire Baths, Brittas Bay, Silver Strand, or any of the many beaches we frequented on trips away as a family.  I swam as a teen, all day every day, camped out at the Vico Bathing Place (Up the Ramps!) with huge packed lunches and a bunch of friends.   I was always at home in the water, at peace there.  It was second nature.   I’ve always lived beside the sea.  I went to school beside the sea.  It was never an option to live away from the sea for either myself or my husband.   Work and life get busy though and somewhere in adulting I lost the brave that overrides the comfortable feeling of being warm!   I lost the urge to push past that.  But the sea; on it, in it, by it, has always been and will always be my happy place.   My husband knows this too – opting to either run a bath or take me to the beach when I get grumpy and out of sorts.   He instinctively knows.   It’s where my calm is.   It’s where I find myself.  

My daughters love the sea.  One is always at the harbour with her friends and my youngest is always with me when I swim.  It was her love of the sea and her enthusiasm for staying in and diving and playing that brought me reluctantly back into the sea this year.  There was a day, foggy, misty and magic, that I got particularly cold and full of aches and pain after my swim.  I was devastated to think that I needed to rethink my approach to the beach and a swim – but find it I did!  The next day I brought a spare pair of togs to change into if the weather didn’t dry me out.  I brought socks and oversized sweatshirt.  And tea.   It worked.   I think I’d two swims that day and went home feeling better than I had so far this year.  

Then a dear friend expressed a wish to get into the sea and start swimming.  We said we’d give it a shot.  No pressure.  No aim in mind other than enjoyment.  I’ve been swimming nearly every day since and never been to the beach alone.   We’ve very quickly morphed from a vague commitment to pushing ourselves into a beautifully casual group of women who organise times daily on WhatsApp for the next swim.   

Since then I’ve resurrected the brave.  It’s pushed me out of bed in the mornings, out of the armchair in the evenings and out of my comfort zone daily.  I used to take about 10 minutes to get my shoulders wet but now, when I get to the beach, I march into the sea like my life depends on it.  In fact, it’s my joy that does.   There is always Joy.    Joy at peeling the layers of clothes off to go swimming.  Joy at the invisible comfort/self-doubt/fear barrier I imagine at the water’s edge.  Joy at the cold as I stride into the waves and feel the water as it creeps and splashes it’s way over my body.   The biggest joy is the dive – head first into the sea as soon as it’s deep enough. Surfacing new, replenished, bathed, alive and JOYFUL.  It’s like coming home.   In the water I feel graceful, young, agile, nimble, at peace.  I’m water in water.   It’s part of me and I’m part of it.  I’m lolling about on waves chatting, diving and swimming and jumping and giving my daughter piggy backs. She’s giving me piggy backs!   (How old am I?  I forget in the water!)  There is laughter, yahooing, bad language and no holds barred conversations that are funny, insightful, educational, moving and enriching.   Everything is steeped in Joy.   And in In the words of an amazing woman  “… if you can get to Joy just once today, and then once again tomorrow and the next day…you will start to create grooves to your Soul — a map to Joy. You’ll remember your way back to your natural state when you slip out of it — which you will. And you’ll do whatever it takes to stay in Joy as long as you can — even if you have to fight for it.”  Danielle LaPorte

We’ve joined up with The Bluetit Chill Swimmers and formed a Wicklow Group – The Wicklow Bluetits.   Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!  Get in touch by message and we can notify you of swims as they happen.

Peggy

It seemed really odd to me a few years ago to think of publishing this Eulogy on my blog, but I’ve had a few people ask about it since, and on the anniversary of her passing two years ago, I’m thinking it’s time. Mum slipped away so slowly over the years preceding her death that the grief process has been slow and long. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I think it has softened the sharper edges of the grief for me, and it made her passing something that set her free rather than took her from us. As the years pass I’m seeing that she was a master at loving people. She’s in how I love. Every day. Always will be.

“Firstly the family would like to thank everybody for coming here today.   No doubt, wherever Mom is, she’s hopping mad that she is missing such a great gathering. 

Mum lived a very full life and was born in Waterford on May 6th, 1932 to Alice and Michael O’ Connell.  She was the second youngest of ten children and grew up on Scotch Quay in Waterford city in what was, by all accounts, a happy and busy household.   Mom told lots of stories about her childhood when we were growing up:  from Sunday boat trips on the river Suir with her father, to her sister Maureen not being in school because she was tied to a tree in the People’s Park.

Mum left school at seventeen, did a secretarial course and was soon running the accounts department of Hearn’s department store in Waterford.  She loved her job but after meeting our father, Billy and getting married, she gave up work. Their shared sense of fun and the outdoors led them to embark on a daring honeymoon adventure on a small motorbike to Mom’s brother Jimmy in Donegal.

After marriage they lived in Waterford for about a year and moved to Dublin in 1959. They fell in love with south Dublin and were delighted to be able to buy the house in Bellevue Avenue.  Mom set about her new life in Glenageary with great enthusiasm.  Being the independent woman she was, she bought a grey Mini and learned to drive – that mini was to transport us for many magical picnics at the beach and trips to the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, where the drop down boot was used as a picnic table in all weathers!  Mum was an avid crafter and loved to knit and sew as well as spending long evenings gardening.  Her talent even extended to making Deirdre’s wedding dress and bridesmaid dress and I remember her being up late into the night getting everything perfect for the big day.

Whilst she loved her new life in Dublin, she still kept strong links with her family and the south.  She spent a large amount of her time writing letters to them as well as many family trips to visit everyone on a regular basis. 

As we grew up, Mom never showed favouritism to any of us and wholeheartedly understood each of us as individuals. She always made time to listen to our troubles and, as others can attest, to listen to people in the broader family as well as friends and neighbours.  I’m sure many of you have fond memories of sitting around the kitchen table in Bellevue with Mum providing scrumptious meals, warm cuppas and a sympathetic ear and shoulder.   She provided support, but not so you’d notice and had an uncanny way of making everything seem better.  

Her true spirit and sense of character shone when she faced surgery for a brain tumour in 1977 and for a second tumour a year later.  Her surgeon considered her something of a miracle for the way she came through the surgery. The thought that she might not be there for her children terrified her and I think we all believe that this is what brought her home to us too.  I remember the day Mum came home from her first brain surgery vividly.  I’d just come home from school and Deirdre – who had at a young age very competently stepped into the role of caregiver for the rest – told me to go see the surprise in the sitting room.  There was Mum –head shorn, bruised, forehead stitched back to together and sitting by the fire in the back room.   I’ve never been so pleased to see anyone in my life and will always remember her that day as the most beautiful person I’d ever seen. 

The strength and bravery she showed in those years served her well as she faced in to various surgeries in subsequent years. In addition she faced in to 25 years caring for Dad as he went through numerous heart attacks, bypass surgery and a heart transplant. 

The arrival of grandchildren through those 25 years helped to lift the spirits of both Mum and Dad. They always gave freely of their time and home and thoroughly embraced the joys of being grandparents.  Mum kept a fine secret stash of pom bears and treats for everyone.  I know some of the grand kids will also recall mum hitching up her skirt to slide down the bannisters at home just for fun.  She loved to laugh and poke fun – particularly at Dad when she saw the chance to get under his skin – a pastime best recognised by the Peggy titter!

Mum realised the dream of a lifetime when she went on holiday to Ithaca in 2008 with Conor, Sian and Gabrielle.    One day, when Conor and mum were sitting having a cool drink by the harbour side and the girls were having fun and giggles fishing from the little jetty just beside them , Conor started to thank Mum for the huge amount of love and support she had given them in the difficult years that they had just been through.  Mum smiled and said ,  our kids “ are “  love , once you understand that you don’t need anything else to have a happy life.”  Classic Mum. 

After Dad passed away in 2010, Mom worked hard to maintain her independence. She was challenged by ill health and the onset of dementia.  Despite everything,  she maintained her sense of humour and strength of character, living up to her own motto of  making the most of life and continuing to let her love, devilment and life still shine. 

In the last couple of years she started to sing again –  in English, in Irish and in Latin. Right up to the end she was singing a few lines of the Jug of Punch and other songs that had a bit of divilment in them.  Of late, even into her final days awake,  when asked how she was feeling, Mum would wryly reply, “with my hands”. 

 In her last few weeks we were truly amazed at her bravery and steely calm. If each of us could carry even a few of Peggy’s traits we know we would be doing her proud. 

Over the last number of years many people have cared for Mom and her medical needs – her GP, the staff at St Michaels, St Vincent’s and of course the staff at Beechfield Manor nursing home.  Beechfield has been a home from home for Mom and for all of us in the family and we believe Mum to have been very happy, comfortable and cherished there.   To see the genuine love and fondness the staff had for Mum has been hugely comforting for us all and goes above and beyond the call of duty.  A special thanks to Blackrock Hospice for the very careful consideration they gave to mom in her final weeks and days too. 

In summary, Mum was a tiny powerhouse of unconditional fun, love, support and determination.  She loved her life no matter what it brought her.  Family meant everything to her and we grew up knowing it every single day.  She lives on in us all, but leaves us much to miss.  Godspeed little woman!”