• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs daughter Claire


    My sweet Claire, today is your birthday. You are eleven. This one seems different than the others, somehow. You are so much older and wiser, so much more aware of the world around you. Maybe it’s how all 11-year-olds are. But something makes me think you have just a bit more insight than many kids your age. The light in your eyes is bright, but you have wisdom in them too. That, I think, is something that’s special about you. Life hasn’t always been easy on you, but you have made the best lemonade out of the lemons you’e been dealt. Yes, you lost your father when you were just…

  • Manicured lawn similar to that at party attended by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    It’s Not Something You Can Catch

    I was at a party a while back and I met a group of single people. The host introduced me to them after I mentioned the difficulty of meeting people outside my circle of (mostly married) friends. Everyone was kind (though no one shook hands, because even though it was February, we were still being cautious – you didn’t know what you could catch!) and we started chatting about nothing. Eventually, people started sharing stories of how they’d met each other, and a couple of them talked about getting divorced and finding support in other divorced people. They could share stories with each other, and also commiserate about parenting. I…

  • Steaming tea kettle used by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Sore Throat

    I woke up with a sore throat this morning.* I’m writing this at 5:30 in the morning. A few minutes ago, I woke up with a slight headache and a sore throat. It’s the kind of thing that I would have totally dismissed a month ago. I would have pulled myself together, taken an Advil, gone running with Purva and taught a day’s worth of lessons, never thinking about the sore throat again. But these are not normal times, are they? So I’m sitting in my living room drinking honey and lemon tea, trying not to freak out. I can already hear what my dad and sister are going to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley teaches students remotely surrounded by her kids

    This Is Not a Referendum

    I cannot do 5th grade math. I’m not saying this to be dramatic. I simply don’t understand it. I never have, so the role of helping Claire with her math homework fell to my dad when he was here. But now that he’s gone, she just has me. And now that school has been cancelled, I’m her teacher as well as her mom. You’d think I would do okay with this new role. I mean, I am a teacher, so home school should be easy for me, right? Wrong. First of all, I don’t teach elementary school and I never have. So my content knowledge of things like 3rd grade…

  • Nurse in mask like that of sister of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Front Lines

    My sister Lindsay is an ER nurse. And let me just state the obvious: Right now is not an easy time to be an ER nurse. The other day, she called as she was leaving work, clearly exhausted. She lives on the West Coast and works the night shift, so we usually talk when it’s mid-morning for me and she’s traveling home. I asked her about how things were going and we discussed how hard her shifts had become, how they were making tough decisions about testing or not testing potential cases of COVID-19, and the shortage of masks. Lindsay doesn’t sugar coat things, and she acknowledged that without the…

  • Father of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley reads to her son
    Family & Friends

    Be Still. Listen.

    Every night, my dad reads to my boys. I’m not sure when this routine began. I know that for a long time after Shawn died, I was an active participant in bedtime for Austin and Tommy. Sometimes I read to them, or I laid on their beds as I watched them fall asleep. But slowly, my dad took over the routine. Because Claire goes to bed a bit later now, I’ve started to sit in the room with them while my dad reads their bedtime story. And that is what I’m doing right now as I write. I am listening to the sound of my 72-year-old father read to his…