• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley as a child with her mother
    Family

    Why? (On the Anniversary of My Mom’s Death)

    One night a few years ago, when my dad was living with me after Shawn died, I was up late working on this blog in the kitchen. My dad had been reading in his room, listening to Gordon Lightfoot after we had put the kids to bed, but he came downstairs and met me to say goodnight. I was stuck on something I was writing and somehow we ended up talking for a long time about my mom. Though we often discussed my mom in general terms, we had just started talking about what it was like when she was sick. For a long time, we’d let that part of…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays in water with children
    Holidays

    Mother’s Day, Year 4

    When Claire was a few hours old, and we were finally alone, I held her in my arms and lifted her tiny face right next to mine. I whispered all sorts of things to her about how I would always love her and how I was going to do anything to make her life the best one it could be. I also told her that I would not repeat the mistakes of my mother. It was a silly thing to do, since she was an infant who didn’t even know that she had fingers and toes, and thus could not understand the nuances of a mother-daughter relationship. Plus, it wasn’t…

  • Trees and mountains for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    On Details and Memory

    I was talking with my sister the other day. We were trying to remember some things about my mom. When did she get sick? When did we know? When was it obvious to other people? We could remember the basics: that she had depression our entire lives, that it got worse when we were young teenagers, that by the time we were both in high school she rarely got out of bed. But the other details were hard to remember. What year did we take the last trip together as a family to the mountains? Three years before she died? More? You would think we would remember everything – she…

  • 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…

  • Queen Anne's Lace
    Family & Friends

    Queen Anne’s Lace

    My mother was beautiful as a young woman, or at least that’s what my dad always says. Actually, he always says that she was beautiful at every age, and I know he means it. I remember her much more as an older woman of the 1980s and 1990s, wearing culotte shorts and sporting the hair of the time period. She looked like any other mom, I guess, and I never thought of her as particularly beautiful. But to my dad, she was. My dad loves to talk about my mom. I knew her better than my kids ever knew Shawn, because I had more time with her. But of course…