• Tommy's drawing of mom for DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Water and Fire

    The first Thanksgiving we spent without Shawn was really hard. We were with our dear friends Josh and Becky, out on Josh’s family farm, surrounded by people who loved us. But it felt heavy. And I was Just. So. Tired. One of the nights, Tommy woke up at 2 am, crying about something, and I couldn’t comfort him. Eventually, I brought him into my bed where he calmed down, his snotty face resting against my chest. I stayed awake for a long time, thinking about how I was the only person who could comfort him. Yes, there was a whole household of people there who loved him, but there was…

  • Beach for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    The Exploding Whale

    Yesterday, an old friend alerted me that it was the 50th anniversary of the exploding whale video. I laughed to myself as I searched for the video. “Kids!” I said loudly, “come in the kitchen and watch this video. It was one of dad’s favorites!” I clicked on YouTube and there it was: the exploding whale video. (For your amusement, I’ll link it here, but since it’s kind of gross I won’t embed it. For a description: a dead whale washed up on an Oregon beach in the 1970s and the authorities decided to use dynamite to blow it up. It did not go as planned.) The kids watched with…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley look at birds flying above open farm field
    Holidays

    The Warmth of Home

    Every day during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Tommy asked me, “is it time to go to the grandparents’ house yet?”  He’s too little to understand the days of the week, so I’d just tell him how many more days there were to go until we left on our trip.  But he was so excited that he’d forget the next morning, and ask me again. One morning, when I told him there were still two more days to go and that he needed to be patient, he laughed a little bit and said, “I’m just so excited to go to the grandparents’ house!” The thing was, we weren’t actually…