• 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.…

  • Wedding car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    If My Wedding is Cancelled, Then I Can Make Jury Duty

    I came home a few days ago to a letter in the mail with the dreaded “official jury summons” stamp across the front. I sighed and picked it up. I guess it was time to me to have jury duty again. The last time I’d gone, in fact, was just a few weeks after Shawn died. Here’s part of what I wrote that day, from one of my oldest blog posts, Chuck E. Cheese and Jury Duty: It’s 8:30 am and I’m sitting with 200 of my fellow DC residents, waiting to be called for jury duty. My friends all thought I should defer, that coming to jury duty would…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley after engagement
    Love and Chris

    Someday, I’ll Watch Him Die (500th Blog Post)

    “I’m so sorry,” the clerk said, handing the papers back to me, “but this won’t work. It’s a copy, and we need the original death certificate in order to issue you a marriage license.” She nodded sympathetically as I sighed. My heart sank. I knew it wasn’t a big deal, really, because we still had time to get all the paperwork together. I knew that part of marriage is just getting the contract in order, and that had nothing to do with love. I knew we could eventually get everything sorted. I was still totally overwhelmed in that moment. We’d come to the town hall in Chris’s hometown in Maine,…