• Tommy Brimley, son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, kneels by his father's grave
    Missing Shawn

    My Body Still Knows

    It was my racing heart that woke me up around 4 am every morning last week. It was confusing, usually. Why was I feeling so nervous? Sometimes, I’d get up and get a drink of water or just walk around a bit, trying to shake away the anxiety inside my body. But it persisted. Maybe I was nervous about the return to school, I figured. Covid is really bad in DC, so maybe I was worried about getting sick at school, or maybe I was just feeling the general angst in the air every time I go to the grocery store. Maybe it was the snow that kept falling last…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with kids
    Things That Suck

    Failures (Part 1 of 2)

    Today’s blog post is about failure and all the ways that I’ve failed in widowhood and wow, it’s been a humbling one to write! As I began to write this post, I thought, “I bet the internet has something to say about widow failures” and boy I was right. Seems that there’s a lot our there about how we can fail. But, really, I didn’t need to read anything online. I’ve already lived plenty of failure over the past three-and-a-half years. Yes, if you’ve just started reading my blog, you may read some of my stories about my kids’ positive life experiences or my new partner Chris and think, “she…

  • Meat on table for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Death by Pork Butt

    I told myself I couldn’t freak out until 10 pm. I had been worried for the past hour, but I tried to rationalize it. Everything was fine. It wasn’t really that late. But then 10 pm arrived, and I let myself get really worried. Where was Chris? He’d been over at his sister’s house that evening, sitting around the fire and chatting with his brother-in-law, Josh. A few friends and neighbors dropped by to say congratulations on our engagement, and Josh was smoking a pork butt in his new smoker. Chris had let me know that things were behind schedule, as the pork butt was taking much longer to cook…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley eats ice cream with a friend
    Parenting

    Make a Prediction

    Tommy is learning all sorts of things in school this year, and since he’s learning them from our dining room, sometimes the whole family takes part in his lessons. Last week, he ran into the kitchen screaming, “I need to find something that starts with the letter T!” which led to a mad scramble as we all tried to think of an object that fit that description. His teacher is doing the impossible job of keeping dozens of 6-year-olds engaged, and part of that entails having a schedule with breaks. During these breaks, the kids often have “assignments” to complete, and either Chris or I will take a few minutes…

  • Field at sunrise for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    You Can Do This. You Are Doing This.

    Sometimes when I’m on a run, I feel real clarity about my life. There’s something about the way that running strips down my insecurities and worries and eventually – usually near the end – I can often feel answers to questions I’m pondering. This only happens when I run alone. For the past few months, I’ve been running much more frequently with my partner Chris, and for much of late June and early July, I was sidelined with an ankle injury. I’ve only just started running solo again, and while I much prefer to chat with a friend or with my partner while I run, I also see the important…

  • Black and white image of family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Parenting

    Our Safe Space

    Like many other parents in DC, I went to pick up my children after school on Friday, bracing myself for what was to come. It felt like the end of the year, in a way. We knew the kids would be out for at least two and a half weeks, and the uncertainty about the future was palpable. Still, the children seemed excited, more than anything else. Austin and Tommy ran around on the field, and I let them, knowing that once we left the school I wasn’t going to let them play much with anyone else. I figured they could have one last game of tag, since they’d been…