• Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale looks at notes for his father
    Parenting

    We Will Not Look Away From You

    The first weekend in May was extraordinarily monumental for our family. Or at least that was how it seemed in the weeks leading up to it. I’d looked forward to this weekend for months. We’d sent out invitations and picked out outfits and planned for lots of fun. Nana and Pop would be coming down, too. I was ready for two big events: our adoption party on Saturday, and Rite 13, the coming-of-age ceremony for Claire at our church, on Sunday. Saturday morning we got up early and my mind was already spinning. I needed to clean the bathrooms and order pizza and organize who would be at Austin’s baseball…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale jump into lake
    Holidays

    Mother’s Day, Year 5

    “Be careful.” It’s one of the most frequent things I’ve said as a mom. Be careful with the small Legos around your baby brother. Be careful climbing that tree. Be careful riding your bike to get ice cream. Be careful. Of course, I said “be careful” a million times before Shawn died. But it felt like I said it a whole lot more after he died. Be careful. Be careful. Be careful. If you’re careful, then you’ll be safe. And if you’re safe, I’ll never have to worry about losing you. That was my rationale, anyway. I think it’s probably the rationale of many parents. And it’s something I know…

  • Woman typing at computer for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    When Auto-Fill Won’t Cut It

    I’ve filled out so many forms in my life. That’s part of being an adult, I suppose. But the form-filling-out got way more intense when I became a widow. When Shawn died, I seemed to need a new form for every single account I had everywhere. Sure, that made sense at the bank, but it seemed crazy to me that I needed a needed to fill out a new form (declaring my newly widowed status) for the internet company, among many others. But the worst kinds of forms were the ones I didn’t have to totally re-do. The worst kinds of forms were the drop-down menus that I had to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs family at wedding
    Family & Friends

    You Carry the Passports

    This year for Spring Break, you went to Texas. Claire and Tommy came with you, but your dad and I stayed behind in DC to work. As we packed up the bags for your first solo airplane trip, we reminded Claire about watching Tommy and calling us when you landed. She started to get really nervous. I tried to calm her down as I packed her bag with the passports. “Don’t lose these!” I said, sternly, which didn’t help her nerves. She got so upset that she had to sit down and collect herself. I looked at the passports and then at Chris. And then we both quickly decided that…

  • Sons of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Things That Remain: Fear (Part 2 of 4)

    In this four-part series, I discuss the things that remain for me (and for some of my readers) in the years after widowhood. Here’s one of my dark little secrets: Every morning, as I kiss my kids goodbye and watch them leave the house for school, one thought always enters my head: I hope they don’t die. I know – what a morbid thing to think! I don’t know if I ever worried about this before Shawn died, but I know it was a bit of an obsession of mine after he died. I knew I would be broken without my children and even though I tried not to think…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale with their son Tommy before wedding and adoption
    Love and Chris

    Kids of His Own

    About two years ago, when Chris and I first started talking on the phone during the early days of the pandemic, I worried about one thing above all others: What if he wanted kids of his own? He obviously knew that I had three kids already, but did he get what that truly meant? Did he understand how much work it was for me already? Did he know how I felt about the prospect of having more kids? I didn’t wait long to breach the topic with him. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of, “just so you know, I don’t want…