• Husband and son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale on porch in Colombia
    New Perspectives

    Pico y Placa

    I wake up early in Colombia. I’m not totally sure why, as the sun doesn’t come up any earlier than it did back home and the city isn’t that much louder than DC. But every morning, around 5 am, my eyes pop open and I am awake. It’s okay, this waking-up-early thing. I have always woken up early (though not quite as early as 5) so it’s not totally bizarre for me to be up before everyone else. Anyway, a few weeks into our time here in Colombia, I found myself awake in the wee hours of the morning, yet again. I figured I’d get up and make something special…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale draws on porch in Colombia
    New Perspectives

    The Power of Yet

    The thing about moving to another country is that everything seems hard – going to the grocery store, trying to talk to the guy in the elevator, paying for something in cash – and it’s doubly hard with kids in tow. We’ve been in Colombia for about a month now, and while some things have gotten easier, every single day I’m pretty exhausted by the time dinner rolls around. Of course, I have plenty to be grateful for, but also…it’s just a lot. Take school. The kids are going to a bilingual school, so many of the parents speak English, and yet the text threads that I’m on for each…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs friend Michelle at night
    New Perspectives

    I’m a Widow. You’d Think I’d Be Better at Doing Hard Things. I’m Not.

    I’m about to do something really hard. And I’m a tiny bit nervous. Okay, I’m more than a tiny bit nervous. If I’m being honest, I’m legitimately anxious about this next step. It’s a big, hard step. And doing hard things is scary. It’s not like I’ve never done hard things. I lived with a mentally ill mother who died by suicide. And then I got married and had three kids and then my husband died. And then I dealt with everything that widowhood brings. And I survived it. I even found love again. Which was wonderful…and also, it was sometimes scary. Any big changes can be scary, I know…

  • Sea by Eastport for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Along the Coastline

    The music was loud and the wind whipped through the car as we drove north. Chris and I had dropped our kids at overnight camp in Maine and had a weekend to ourselves. The scenery, especially as we neared the border, was spectacular. We were in Eastport (“Easternmost city in the United States!“) and it seemed that all that was ahead of us was the sea and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “Shawn always said Nova Scotia was the most beautiful place in the world,” I said to Chris. “He wanted to take me there. But I can’t imagine it being more beautiful than this.” “Well,…

  • Picture of compass pointing to insurance for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Hypotheticals

    I have been trying to figure out what to do about some changes in my health insurance. It’s been a fun process! (If you’re American, you know that was said with great sarcasm.) I’ve spent the past couple of days calling health insurance companies to figure out what’s the best coverage for my family in the future. Yes, I can see some details on the papers they provide, but it is not enough for me. I need to talk to a person who can really understand my needs. Every time I call someone, I actually feel bad for the customer service representative who gets me. At first, I must seem…

  • Computer at table for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Why I Write

    It’s 5 am and the house is dark. The only light in the kitchen comes from the button on the dishwasher, telling me that it is now clean. The birds aren’t even up yet, but I am. I’ve been here often, in this place and at this time. It has been my writing spot for many years, especially before the sun was up. I didn’t make a conscious effort to wake up in the wee hours of the morning after Shawn died, but it often happened. I’d lay in bed for a while, tossing and turning, my mind often filled with anxiety. Were the kids okay? What was that rattle…