The Murphy Boys

The love challenge – Day 1

Posted by in Ayrie, Love

I’m part of a pretty amazing Wellbeing program. I started it back in May of 2015 and I’ve met some truly incredible people through the program. One considers herself my heart because she represented my heart in an exercise we did together. I have to say, in the months since she started telling me, “I’m your heart. Pay attention to me!”, I have paid attention to my heart more than ever before. Yesterday she sent me a message: Nora – Text me about LOVE: XXX-XXX-XXXX I invite you to a December…read more

I am here

Posted by in Ayrie

Five years ago today I was boarding a plane with Ayrie for Boston. I was scared by Ayrie’s breathing. It was so hard for him. But I was expecting him to have nothing but another routine surgery. We had done this twenty times before. Hours later he tucked in for the night in a newly renovated room at MEEI. I was in the bed next to his, reading. I was in a PhD program at the time and always reading. I felt so good that we had made it to…read more


You are standing in my light. Always.

Posted by in letters to the boys

I wrote this on March 25th, 2011. I found it in my drafts folder, unpublished. I’m glad this message found its way to me again. —— Yesterday was bad.  Scary bad.  But as always, a lot of people came through for me right when I needed them to. Part of what’s been hard is that Ayrie used to come to me a lot and recently he’s been largely absent.  It’s like losing him again. I close my eyes and I don’t see him very often.  I was up most of…read more


Posted by in Ayrie

One of the first decisions I had to make was about what to do with Ayrie;s body. I wanted to donate it to science, but for some reason they didn’t want it. I never asked why. I could have asked for an investigative autopsy, but that didn’t feel right. I didn’t have opinions on what to do with his body before. Somehow, even though I knew that he might die, I had never even spent one moment of time thinking about a funeral. Why not? It made no sense. And…read more



Posted by in letters to the boys

Roots. I’m growing them, and it terrifies me. This isn’t where I want to land. The winters are too long, dark, and cold. I feel like tense from October through May. Hunched over. Protecting myself from a chill that has already found a home in me and never actually goes away. Or at least, not until June. Even in the hottest shower, in a sauna, in a room with the heat blasting, my bones feel cold at their core. I love with color, heat, laughter, music, spice, and a bit…read more

motherhood, family, & building community

Posted by in letters to the boys

My body is starting menopause. Or perimenopause. Or whatever you want to call it. They are clinical words that don’t begin to convey what a human experience it is. What a female experience. My body has ovulated and menstruated on schedule for thirty years. And now it’s decided to stop being reliable and begin the slow but erratic decline into the time in my life when I can no longer produce life. That first part I just wrote? That was me. But by the end of that short paragraph the…read more


Posted by in Ayrie

    I’m feeling like my brain and spirit are super-charged tonight. They are making connections that I’ve never been able to make before. Here is one of those insights: it’s important to know, in the core of one’s being, that you matter. If you knew me well while Ayrie was sick, and we were making frequent visits to Boston for his surgeries–or if you met me later and heard my story after he died–you know that I hold deep gratitude for Ayrie’s surgeon and hospital . I’ve probably shared…read more

Rebirth. I am meant to be brilliant. I am meant to shine.

Posted by in My journey, Soul

I just found this journal entry from two years ago. It’s beautiful and perfect. And…I’m definitely still learning this lesson. A caterpillar must feel like it’s dying. Ayrie and I had a monarch caterpillar once and watching it, I certainly thought it was dying. It stopped eating, turned a strange, sickly, dull color and became lethargic.  And then the period of darkness came. It built that cocoon so tightly around it’s body. No where to run. No way to escape the pain of transformation, the shedding of what was, the…read more

Unleashing my joy, my creativity, my truth

Posted by in My journey

A few months ago I did a reading with Sonia Choquette. I’ve read several of her books and was very nervous about the phone call. I managed to call her late and unprepared, scribbling notes on scrap paper in a gold marker. I’ve moved the scraps of paper from place to place, always promising to revisit them, to devote time and attention to the meaning. This post is my pulling together of the ideas so I can see them in one place and begin to reflect. About me…. I am…read more

eagles & bobcats

Posted by in My journey

Those of you who know me or follow me on facebook know that Ayrie means “a large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.” And since he died I have received so many messages from him through eagles. Sometimes just to say “Hi, I’m here.” Or to say, “You’re on the right track. Continue with this line of thinking.” Other people get visits from him too like these facebook posts from loved ones: This afternoon, we all picked…read more