• Book for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: My Mom’s Diary (Part 1 of 2)

    To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to face my mom’s diary. What was it going to tell me about who she had been? How might it change the memories I had of her? Was it even right to read someone else’s diary, even if she had left it for us to find? I knew I couldn’t do it at home. For some reason, I wanted to be away both from my kids and from my dad. It wasn’t just about the constant interruptions that happened at home, but rather more that I needed a clear head. Becky and Michelle offered to go away with me for…

  • Candles at funeral for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: It’s Hard for People Who Don’t Know the Whole Story

    Fall seemed too quick the year Shawn died, though maybe it was better that way. I didn’t want to spend the whole season reliving his illness. Instead, I spent a lot of time writing in the safety and warmth of my bedroom, though I also found refuge in my kitchen after the kids’ bedtime. I still wasn’t cooking much, but I could brew a cup of tea and eat a bowl of chocolate chips and feel like I was getting some sort of treat. One night, when I was up finishing a blog post about my life just after my mom died, my dad came downstairs. “You writing?” he asked…

  • Houses in neighborhood for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: A Walk With My Dad

    That summer after Shawn died, we all traveled to Texas for our annual family reunion at my aunt Nancy’s house. It was a place my dad loved, even in the sweltering summers, as it had been his home for his entire childhood and young adulthood. It was a place where it was so hot we sometimes tried to fry eggs on the sidewalk, a place where cacti dotted every front yard and the place where he had met and fallen in love with my mom.  My parents originally met on a double date, though they weren’t matched with each other that night. They went out a few times after that,…

  • Sewing machine for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Family & Friends

    The Sewing Room

    One of the places my mom loved most was her sewing room. It was just a little room, tucked away at the end of the hallway, a place too small for much more than a desk where she could put her sewing machine, and a closet where she could put all her projects. When we were kids, I often came home from school to find her in there. She taught me how to sew in that room. When she died, we closed the door of the sewing room. I mean, sure, every once in a while my sister or I would go in there to get a needle and thread,…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, Claire, hugs her
    Holidays

    Today, You Get the Ring

    Many years ago, my grandmother’s grandmother turned 13. On that day, her father took her into town via horse and buggy, and bought her a tiny little ring, just perfect for her hand. I do not know her name, and I am not even sure if it was actually my grandmother’s grandmother, or someone even further back than that, or merely my grandmother’s mother. I only had the story told to me once, on my 13th birthday. On that day, I didn’t just hear the story. I also got the ring. My mom gave it to me. She had gotten it from her mother on her 13th birthday, and her…

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

    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…