• Sunrise at National Cathedral during run of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    2020 Vision

    I’ve always loved New Year’s Resolutions. I love the idea that I am striving for something new, looking to constantly improve, and taking on a new challenge. One year, when I was in my 20s, I made a resolution to visit a dozen new countries. Another year, when my kids were all really small, I aimed to cook a real dinner every other night. In 2017, Shawn and I both decided that we were going to throw more parties and spend more time with our friends. 2017 was my last year of New Year’s Resolutions. When people would talk about resolutions in 2018, I merely said, “my goal is to…

  • Emergency room sign like that described by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Sometimes You Superglue It

    The thing about breathing is that it’s essential for living on this planet, so when you start having problems with breathing, everyone freaks out. It was small at first. I could run and breathe just fine, but I’d feel a tightness in my chest when I was drifting off to sleep. I’d be okay when I was teaching, but the moment I sat down to write I felt like I couldn’t take a full breath. I told my dad about it, and he listened to my heart and my lungs. “It’s nothing,” he said. My dad always says, “it’s nothing.” One of the few times he said otherwise was just…

  • Beach where DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley danced
    New Perspectives

    Year of Yes Revisited

    2019 was the “Year of Yes“. Or at least that’s what I wanted it to be. 2018 had been the year of cancer and death and survival. It was terrible, and all I wanted to do was fast-forward through the year. When 2019 arrived, I thought, “okay, it’s time to actually live this life I’ve been given.” And the way I was going to do that was to try everything. Could I run further than the three miles I usually ran? Maybe just an extra mile, or maybe three or four more? I could. Could I let go a little, take a risk and try out a new man? And…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at the grave of their father
    Missing Shawn

    Remembering Shawn and The Tragically Hip

    As the second anniversary of Shawn’s death approached, I knew I needed to be more proactive than I had been on the first anniversary. That day, exactly one year after Shawn died, I decided that I would go to work and teach my high school classes. I mean, what was I thinking? I only had two classes that morning, but I cried in both of them, including while I was lecturing to my seniors about something like state sovereignty. (To be fair, this was one of those times when a terrible mistake leads to a real life lesson. Many of the students reached out to me afterwards and later that…

  • Sunshine streaming in living room of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    2 Years Ago You Told Me This

    2 years ago, on this day, you were here with me. You were sick, yes. You couldn’t run with our kids. You couldn’t lift your CrossFit weights. You couldn’t even turn on your side in the bed and face me at night. But you were here. With me. We spent the day together, visiting with friends who came by, but mostly sitting next to each other, savoring the sunshine that streamed through the windows on that freezing January day. If I close my eyes, I can feel the way the sun’s warmth landed on my back as you looked right at me and reminded me that you loved me. As…

  • Beach image like that visited by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley and husband Shawn
    Missing Shawn

    Go on Vacation

    Last night, I had a vivid dream about Shawn. That happens less than it once did, so I’m always glad to be able to “feel” him when he appears in this way. In the dream, Shawn was sick. We both knew he was dying, and he was thinner than normal, but otherwise he was the same guy – funny, engaging and full-of-life. Of course, that’s how he was even as he was dying, so it’s not strange that I remember him this way. In the dream, we were sitting on the beach in lounge chairs, watching the waves crash on the shore. We drank pina coladas and talked about an…