• Pink heart and heartbeat for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    You’ll Survive

    When I was a kid and I’d fall and scrape my knee or get the stomach flu, my parents would comfort me, because that’s what parents do. But they had different approaches to this. My mother was a very gentle person, someone who worried a lot about my sister and me, and she would gingerly pat my cut dry or give me a cool washcloth. I have such embodied memories of her touch, especially when I was sick, and how it felt to have her sit next to me and comb her fingers through my hair. Every time, it soothed me. My father was not like this. As any child…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley watches movie from pool
    Family & Friends

    The Clark Family, Part 2

    I was a bit nervous the week before my family’s 4th of July reunion. If I’m being honest, I got so nervous at one point that I had a hard time sleeping. It’s not a new feeling for me. Much of early widowhood (at least a year and a half!) was filled with sleepless nights, and just after I felt like I was really settling into life as a young widow, the pandemic hit. But this recent sleeplessness was not because of the pandemic – everyone in my family who could be vaccinated had been, and we took all the precautions we could for the little ones. Rather, my sleeplessness…

  • Grandpa Tom with baby of Marjorie Brimley DC widow blog writer
    Family & Friends

    A Hug, Finally

    I didn’t hug my dad for a year. I know this made me no different from millions of Americans my age. Our elderly parents, many in their 70s and 80s, spent the year celebrating holidays alone and zooming into family birthday parties. My dad was no different, and while he had kept me safe for many years, it was now my turn to protect him. It was a drastic change for my family, and especially my kids, who had grown accustomed to living with their grandfather. But it was what was best, I told them. Still, it was hard on everyone, especially because of the role my dad had played…

  • lights for engagement for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    The Glamorous Cabal of Widows

    We’d been singing Christmas carols for an hour, and I’d just been shot down by this cute guy across the room who I had hit on. He had a girlfriend, I reported back to my friends. “Boo!” they said, clinking glasses with me, before someone said, “but I think we should go meet the performer!” We were sitting in a furniture store at the beginning of December, in that long-ago time of 2019 when people regularly gathered indoors, and we ran over to catch the performer to say hello. He was dressed in a long white fur coat with rhinestones and a white feather hat to match. “Hi ladies!” he…

  • Austin and family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Just Like Your Dad

    Everyone says you look like your father. It’s true, Austin. Photos of Shawn at your age show not just a resemblance, but an image so similar I almost always have a moment when I think it’s a photo of you. The the shape of your eyes and the way that you smile and the size of your head and so many other features about you look just like every photo I’ve ever seen of him. Even the way that you hold a pencil is similar, as is the look in your eyes when you focus. Maybe this is why when he died, I worried the most about you. You were…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley next to barn
    Family & Friends

    FaceTime with my Family

    “Tell Chris the family loves him.” It was a text from my dad, something that might not seem like a lot, but from my dad, it was a big deal. My father is a man who is loyal to the people around him, and who loves me and my sister and his grandkids so much, but he is also someone who doesn’t always express that emotion so readily in writing. His birthday cards to me always say something like, “Enjoy your birthday. Love, Dad.” My dad is obviously not unfeeling or unsentimental – on the contrary, he’s been devoted to our family for the entirety of his life. First, to…