• Claire Brimley daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale speaks at wedding
    Parenting

    Claire’s Wedding Speech

    Below is a speech given my 12-year-old daughter, Claire, at our wedding. She told me months beforehand that she wanted to say something, but she wanted it to be a surprise to all the guests. She also wanted to surprise her dad, Chris. At the reception, she stood up in front of everyone, without any fear, and gave this final toast. For a long time it was just my mom and my two younger brothers, Austin and Tommy. But a year and a half ago, that changed when Chris – my dad! – came into our lives.  Of course, he wasn’t my dad right away. He was just my mom’s…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale and husband Chris
    Love and Chris

    Share Joy

    For the entire week leading up to our wedding, I couldn’t sleep. I was so nervous. When I’d toss and turn at night, Chris would wake up and comfort me. “I’m not nervous about being married to you!” I’d say each time, because that was true and I wanted to make sure he knew it. I told him that I wasn’t totally sure why I was feeling so nervous, which was also true, though I tried to figure it out. Maybe it was the stage fright, maybe it was throwing a wedding during Covid, maybe it was just all the last-minute logistics. I never really figured it out. But damn,…

  • Fall leaves at wedding for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    ‘Till Death Do Us Part

    In just a few days, under the bright Maine sky, Chris and I will be married. We’ve thought a lot about our wedding, about how we want to share our love with our family and friends, and what it means to formally recognize our commitment to each other. We think we’ve got a lot of unique moments planned for the ceremony. But one thing that won’t be unique? Our vows. We decided early on that we wanted to say traditional Episcopal wedding vows. We liked the simplicity and we liked that we’d be saying the same words that so many people have said before us. This is what I will…

  • guitar and hands for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    Witness Something Special

    I love and hate September. It’s the same every year. I look forward to the excitement of school starting, the promise of leaves changing to bright oranges and reds, and the feeling of hope in the air. But September also means the end of summer, the end of lazy mornings, and the end of popsicles and watermelon at the pool. For me, September also brings late night lesson planning and early morning lunch packing and – this year – a wedding. It’s a lot of change. A few weeks ago, as September began, Chris and I decided that we needed a night away from home, just the two of us.…

  • 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…

  • 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.…