• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs her friend Michelle in field
    Things That Suck

    Do This, Because You Are Her Friend

    Let’s say you have a female friend that’s you’ve known for a number of years (and it could be a man, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s imagine it’s a woman.)  One day, her husband falls ill and soon after, he dies.  She is bereft, and also needs to figure out how to afford her house payments, continue with her career and care for her young children. In the initial days, you knew what to do.  Maybe you didn’t know what to say but you knew what to do.  Bring food, lots of it.  Donate to an online campaign to pay for funeral expenses.  Offer to pick up her kids from…

  • 2 photos of the family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Another Year Without My Mom

    Every year since I was 19, I’ve dreaded August 26th, as it’s the anniversary of my mom’s death. When my dad called to tell me she had died by suicide, I sank to the floor, unable to do anything but scream “tell me you are lying!” It was 1998 and I was just about ready to start my Sophomore year of college. I had my whole life ahead of me, and in that moment, everything changed. So when I looked at the calendar this year, I couldn’t believe what I saw. August 26th was going to fall on the first day of school. Okay, great, I thought. So this meant…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley smile standing near school

    What My Kids Need At School This Year

    School starts tomorrow. I’m so nervous that I’m having a hard time sleeping. I know I shouldn’t be. My kids go to a great school. They know most of the kids who will be in their classes. Many adults in the building know their names and all three of them seem genuinely excited to start. I know they will learn. I’m always surprised at how much math they are able to do every year. I marvel at how impressive my daughter’s writing has become and the way that my older son can rattle off science statistics that I’d have to look up on Google. I love that my 5-year-old can…

  • Gas pump like that used by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    The Man at the Gas Station

    I realized I was out of gas as I headed back from the doctor last week. I was out in the suburbs, too far from home to wait until I could go to my usual gas station, so I pulled into a random one on a side street. I got out, paid for my gas and waited for my tank to fill. In the interim, I washed my windshield. Behind me, a man whistled. I ignored it, mostly because I was alone and in a hurry to get back to my kids. Then I heard the same guy yelling, “hey you, excuse me, excuse me,” so I turned around. He…

  • Pile of trash similar to that visited by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Flatwood Willie

    The thing about being way out in the country is that there’s no trash pickup. It makes you acutely aware of exactly how much garbage you produce, especially when you have to frequently pack it all up in your car and then drive to dispose of it. So on our recent trip out to rural Virginia, I found myself headed to the dump. I didn’t really know where it was, so I kept slowing down on the highway. People behind me must have been irritated, but no one honked. As I pulled into the dump, a man greeted me. “I saw you headed here,” he said, “and you kept slowing…

  • Nuts on plate similar to those that caused allergic reaction in DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Pistachio Nuts, Epipens and Friends

    Last Thursday was a great day. Claire tried out for the local rock climbing team, and since I don’t have childcare in the summer, I took the boys to watch. They had fun too, and we all drove home with the windows down and the music blasting. I put frozen taquitos in the oven for my kids as we all re-lived the fun we’d had that afternoon. And then I almost ended up in the ER. You see, I’m super allergic to tree nuts, and somehow, I’d ordered a salmon meal for my dinner that contained pistachio nuts. In my haste to get everyone’s food ready, I didn’t read the…