December 15th


I have been feeling low this week but have only understood why this is
in hind sight. A lot of equipment has arrived recently and it
represents change and deterioration as far as I’m concerned. A hoist
that looks like a crane (Willie O’Brien Cranes -“if you can’t lift it we will shift it” … eat your heart out!) is used
now to lift me from my cosy bed every morning. We actually have a
laugh with my fabulous carers. If I didn’t I’d be in tears!
Secondly, a new wheelchair arrived from the IMNDA (Irish Motor Neuron
Association) which is black and awful looking. I wonder why the
necessary equipment often looks so drab. Why can’t the chair be bright red or cerise pink I ask myself. However, it is the most
comfortable chair in the house now with the added bonus that I can be
pushed around our home with minimum difficulty to join in on family
activity whenever I want. Prior to this, I was stuck in a corner where
movement wasn’t easy.
The IMNDA have been such a huge support from day one. Though its hard
to say for obvious reasons, I’m really grateful for their continued
So the new hoist and wheelchair came this week and moved me from my comfort zone. But I accept them now as things invoking more freedom. Especially the chair.
I was thinking about the ‘lowness’ of last week again and yes it’s the
time of year when mothers especially get thrown into the rollercoaster
of Christmas. It’s such a busy time.
As for that cloud it will pass. It always does.

Kitty said something fabulous this morning while attaching, in an
official manor, a sticker full of kisses and hugs to my jumper, “Mummy, you
have to hug and kiss all the time because you are the Captain of
I am eternally grateful to my body for giving me two wonderful
children who are full of such joy and inspiration every day!
Then she wrote it down for me:

20121216-092318 PM.jpg

12 responses »

  1. Get a can of glitter paint and spray it bright red, Emma! Or green, or pink, or yellow or whatever colour you like, girl. One colour most definitely does NOT fit all sometimes! Mind you, black is terribly obliging about matching what you’re wearing, on the other hand, where brighter colours may clash…just a thought!
    I am blown away by Alanna’s words ‘The Captain of Love’ – WOW doesn’t even begin to cover that. What an amazing choice of words, so expressive, so creative – and so true! I hope it helps you to realise that you are doing a fantastic job as a mother, in spite of the setbacks – kids don’t lie! The most important thing a mom needs to do is let her kids know that she loves them – and yours know that in spades. I think the next badge might just say ‘Chief Commander of Fun’! xxxxxxx

  2. Hi Emma.
    Alannah is beautiful and shes yours , lucky ,lucky you ! My little six old looked at the picture on Sunday night and told me” that she must love and adore her Mummy sooooo much to use so much concentration on such a beautiful card “and then apologised to me for not doing me one as his concentration has now totally run out with the run up to christmas !!.
    Emma because of your post i bet they will start rolling out pink , red and crazy yellow wheel chairs someday soon.
    So glad you are feeling better. Christmas is a lovely time of year but it can be a pain in the bum at times as well. Hope that gloomy cloud stays away. Wishing you buckets of sunshine and precious moments. Cal x

  3. Beautiful and inspiring Em thank you – and Kitty too. It truly does lift us up when we realise what was bringing our spirits down and having us feel discouraged. Wonderful to see how you have “re-framed” the hoist and the wheelchair. Wishing you and all of you all the special blessings of this time and lots of love xxxxxxxx

  4. Whatever you are doing to raise these fabulous kids should be bottled and sent all over the world! Emma, your spirit shines through even on cloudy days. Wishing you strength and happiness in the next few days, surrounded by all who love you xxx

  5. Hello Em, “the Captain of Love” I have been reading your blog and I am full of emotions – sadness, awe, admiration, anger. I am so sorry this is happening to you and that you’re feeling low. However, you are facing it all with such bravery. Many people would envy your title “captain of love” – your children are so lucky to have such a loving, caring, selfless mammy. I can’t imagine how hard it is to stay so loving and caring when your world has been turned upside down. You are the mammy, the heart and soul of your home-keep ruling the roost Em. Lots of love..xxxx

  6. Emma i only know of you through my very dear friend Carol Heaslip and it was only last nite that she informed me of your blog which is so endearingly honest As my late mum used to always say “there is always someone worse off than yourself” I lost one of my lovely brothers a month ago to suicide and on the days i feel low from now on, you Emma are going to be my kick in the backside Calling you an inspiration probably sounds patronising so im very wary of that as you more than likely dont think of yourself as that, but oh my God you are a pure gem We are sminky mad in this house. i have two sons 11 and 13, and im so not “down with the kids” as they introduced me to them and they never ever fail to make me laugh. Your kids sound edible and sure all kids are, and before you call the ISPCC i would never eat children you understand You do understand, dont you Emma? Ah you do Im actually training to be a health care assistant at the moment and i cant wait to be qualified next June I have been accepted in my chosen nursing home for work experience starting Jan 7 We have been trained in patient handling and we all had to experience being put in a hoist and I havent felt so vulnerable and exposed since giving birth but it is amazing equipment Mind you hoist or no hoist if somebody took me out of my bed on a cold winters morning let me tell ya, i wouldnt be ecstatic now. Just kidding!! There is definitely a book in you, coz you tell like it is Emma and you are funny which would help sell it. First ever time writing in a blog and i have to stop coz this is about you not me even tho its hard once you start I feel I know you already which is nuts coz i dont, and ive just bored anyone who reads this Will follow you from now on, not in a stalking kind of way I hope you know. I’ll keep my distance. Emma you are you, you are here, and this is now, and its all any of us have, its just that your now is your challenge and you are a trooper Have a joyful Christmas with your adorable family, make sure you are asleep when Santy comes, coz he will and i wish you a peaceful, healthy funny, loving and a wonderful 2013
    Love n warm thoughts helen b xx

  7. Bonjour Etoile :-))
    I have read this piece over & over. Dad would be so,so proud of you & good gracious…… In total awe of beautiful Kitty! She is MAGIC …. Just like you! I too am constantly grateful to YOUR wonderful body for bringing both Kitty & Rowan into this world…..makes for a wayyyyyy more beautiful one!
    Merci Etoile – Je taime xxxxxx
    Ps. Ref. to Willie O’BRIEN …. Such a MILLER way to deal with it !!!!! You really make me laugh :-))

  8. H iEmma.

    Thinking of you as always. Hope Christmas and the new year is kind to you. Full of good thoughts and happy moments. It must be a busy house with small people on holidays from school and friends calling. Wishing you lots of positive energy and precious moments. Cal xxx

  9. Hi Emma.

    Antoinette told me about your blog. I often think about you and am so glad to be able to read your lovely blog. I love the name shapeshiftingemma. I also love the sminky short cartoon series which are a hoot.. And Ted Talks…….the internet is such a font of knowledge and connection. Sometimes I think we are addicted to it ( I am anyway!) but it is bringing humanity together on many levels. Your spirit shines through in your writing and I look forward to following and connecting with you from now on. What a lovely family you are blessed with and a wonderful mum they are blessed with.. Love Frances

  10. I have been involved in the medical are for over 35 years Emma and I have found your writing an absolute joy and feel you have been an inspiration to countless people who find themselves in a very dark place at this time regardless of the cause. Your ability to lift the spirit is awesome and my admiration for you is limitless Emma. Please keep up your blog for both yourself and all your many friends
    Thank you,
    Kieran Harte

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