• Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with their dad Chris
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: How Do Your Kids Think About Their (Dead) Dad When They Have a (New, Alive) Dad?

    Clearly, this blog post has a lot of complicating factors because it took twenty minutes to come up with the title, and it’s still pretty garbled. It could also be about how kids think about their moms, or any other set of parents, of course, but for this post I’m using my own example of two dads. Hopefully readers can follow my thoughts, even though at this point – 3 sentences in – I’ve almost lost my train of thought! Okay, here we go… Lately, some of my widow friends (both in person and online) have started to date and a few have met someone new. That’s great, right? Yes….and…

  • Grandparents and kids and cousins of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Nana and Pop

    “You made it!” We could hear Nana and Pop shouting from their driveway. Next to them stood Chris’s sister Becky, her husband Josh and their two kids. Our kids bounded out of the car, excited to finally be free. Everyone jumped up and down and hugged. “All our grandkids from DC are finally here!” Nana said, laughing with joy as she was almost tackled over by the five of them. It was a great moment, and one that almost made me cry. But before I get too into that, let me back up and explain a bit more about Chris’s parents, Nana and Pop. I’ve actually known Joanie and Billy…

  • Son and partner of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley by harbor
    Parenting

    What Does it Mean to Be a Dad?

    What does it mean to be a dad? It was one of those sweltering days in the summer, the kind where it’s a little hard to breathe, and I sat at a picnic table at a New York state park with Tommy and Claire. About 50 feet away, Austin was lying down on a bench, with Chris by his side. Up until that point, our car trip to Maine had been pretty uneventful. Austin, easy middle child that he is, had offered to sit in the way back so his sister and brother wouldn’t get carsick. He read a book and we didn’t hear from him for almost 5 hours.…

  • Claire, daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley, chops wood
    New Perspectives

    The First Day of School, Part 2

    When class lists came out, the kids were thrilled. Both of the boys got teachers they really liked, and Claire was excited about the new teachers and classes she was going to have. Everyone was back in real, full-day school for the first time since March 2020 and the mood in our house was one of excitement. I felt that way, too. Really. But I also had this nagging sensation in the back of my mind. What will this year hold for them? Are they ready for this transition, both in school and in our family life? And – logistically – do I need to email their teachers with our…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with cousins and Aunt Terry outside tattoo parlor
    Family & Friends

    Terry Gets a Tattoo

    “Claire and I found a little bitty ladybug. She was about 4 or 5. And I said, ‘We never kill ladybugs. They’re good luck, and sometimes they fly away. So we watched it awhile, and then it flew away!'” Those lines were spoken by my 78-year-old Aunt Terry, as she recounted a tender moment she once had with Claire. In the tattoo parlor. Let me be clear – the story about the ladybug wasn’t set in a tattoo parlor. Rather, Terry told us this story to explain what she was doing. And what she was doing was getting her first tattoo – of a ladybug, on her shoulder, over 4th…

  • 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…