DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley runs away from camera

2020, It’s Time to Go… (Part 1 of 2)

It’s time to go, 2020.

It’s time to go, face masks and hand sanitizer and six feet of social distance. Not right away, I know. But soon, I hope. Soon.

It’s time to go, waking up at 3 am.

It’s time to go, guilt and anxiety. Or at least the really bad guilt and anxiety that comes after tragic loss. I’m healing now, so I really just have space for regular guilt and anxiety.

It’s time to go, online dating.

It’s time to go, nightmares. I know I also said this last year (and the year before that), but those really terrible ones? For real, no more nightmares, please.

It’s time to go, insurance provider who I had to fight with to provide my daughter the medication she needed. Okay, as I said last year, not really “goodbye” because I still need insurance but damn you’ll be hearing from me every day in 2021 if you ever decide to stop coverage.

It’s time to go, homework assignments where my children write about the loss of their father. I want them to talk about him, of course, but I’m ready for it to bite me just a bit less when they do it next year.

It’s time to go, racism. We can’t end you in one day. But we must keep talking about your impact.

It’s time to go, terrible goodbyes. First and foremost, the rushed one with my dad, as he fled DC at the start of the pandemic. I know there were many worse goodbyes in this world, goodbyes that were for good. I’m lucky to have my dad on FaceTime. But I want our talks to be face-to-face soon.

It’s time to go, junk mail that still arrives for Shawn.

It’s time to go, perfection. Parenting – and teaching – in 2020 was sometimes a disaster. Especially when I was doing it alone. But I learned how to do it all imperfectly as a widow in the two years before the pandemic hit, and that means I had a head start on your curveballs, 2020.

It’s time to go, misconceptions about what a “real family” looks like.

It’s time to go, misplaced fears about how my children would react to a someone new in my life. Maybe it would have gone badly with another man – that I cannot say. But it was always going to be okay with Chris.

It’s time to go, Donald Trump. My children are going to see hope – and two blended families! – in the White House.

It’s time to go, instant coffee.

It’s time to go, bathroom floor. I don’t need to collapse on you anymore.

It’s time to go, beautiful backyard. 2020 was about digging holes and “platforms for doing science experiments” and mud fights.

It’s time to go, loneliness. Not forever, of course. You might sneak back up on me, but I know how to face you now.

It’s time to go, trying to please everyone. I couldn’t do it before the pandemic, and I can’t do it now.

It’s time to go, worry. Especially the kind where I listen to every sniffle and jump at every cough. Especially the kind where I stay up at night, thinking about my sister working in the ER.

It’s time to go, worry about how my boys will turn out. They take out the trash and hug each other and adore the women in their family. That seems like a win to me.

It’s time to go, monthly pedicures and new high heels. I’m sure I’ll want you back someday, but 2020 has taught me how to pare down.

It’s time to go, recliner. You served your purpose, and made Shawn comfortable in his final days. But we needed more space in 2020.

It’s time to go, hospital visits that still bring me to my knees. Tommy’s going to need stitches from time to time, and I can face that without collapsing.

It’s time to go, angst over being in my 40s. Yes, I have many good memories of the past. But the future looks bright, too.

It’s time to go, 2020.

Image Credit: Becky Hale Photography.