• Bread made by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Shawn’s Birthday, Year 4

    I bake at least four loaves of bread every week. I know, it may seem excessive, but I’ve got three kids! Still, that’s not really the reason I bake so much bread. Mostly, I do it because I love it. I haven’t always baked bread like I do now. I learned how to do it in my 20s, but it was a “special event” sort of thing, something I did maybe once or twice a year. I didn’t have any special equipment or techniques (I used Jim Lahey’s no-knead recipe) and mostly, I just bought our bread at the grocery store. Shawn used to love it when I made homemade…

  • 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…

  • Claire daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Life is Unfair. But It Can Be Beautiful, Too.

    Sometimes I catch you, when you think no one is looking, smiling in the mirror and doing some of your favorite moves. They are moves I remember from when I was about your age. They are cheerleading moves. I mean, really, cheerleading? That’s your chosen sport? But no matter how surprised I am by this, you don’t care. You love cheerleading. I can’t be upset about this. I was also a cheerleader in high school. I’m sure my own mother saw me do the exact same moves when I was your age. But what strikes me, when I see you practicing a cheer, is not how flexible you are or…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimely writes by fire
    Holidays

    42

    Today is my birthday. It’s also the 3-year anniversary of my first blog post, “My 39th birthday…” Over the past few months, I’ve started to re-read many of these old blog posts, and sometimes I am downright shocked at the degree of openness I put out there, right in the beginning. So as I thought about my birthday this year, I decided to re-read this part of that post from three years ago: Here’s the thing – it’s not that I feel insecure in the same way I did at age 21, worried about how my hair looked or whether I was wearing the right jeans or drinking the right…

  • Children bury Tommy in sand for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Seven Kisses

    Every night at bedtime, you make me give you six kisses. “Because I’m six!” you say, and you count them up each time. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or if I’m stressed or if I really just need you to get in bed. I have to do those six kisses. Tonight, I’ll give you seven. Because today, my sweet Tommy, you are seven years old. How impossible it was to imagine, all those years ago, that you would be a boy that is thriving? That despite the fact that you lost your dad when you were just three, you’d still find a way to see so much joy in…

  • Mother of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Happy Birthday to My Mom

    My mom would be 72 today, if she had lived beyond middle age. She lived a full life, even if it was short, but she never got to watch her daughters get married or hold her grandchildren. She never became a photographer or a teacher later in life, and she never lived long enough to think about dying her hair or letting it go gray. She missed the many events that come with grown children and grandchildren and she missed the life she could have had. She missed it. And for much of my life when I thought about my mom’s death, I’d think about the events in my life…