• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs her son Tommy in the woods
    Things That Suck


    I may need to give up social media for the next few months. I’m serious. I mean, I’m getting a lot of great information from the journalists I follow and I am able to connect with many people that I can’t see face-to-face anymore. It’s important to my writing that I remain on social media. And really, I find out things happening in my local community a lot easier through social media than I do through any other means. But dear GOD, I’m starting to really hate all the “happy coronavirus” photos. Listen, I’m a contributor as well. I post the photos of my kids playing outside and dutifully finishing…

  • Black and white image of family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Our Safe Space

    Like many other parents in DC, I went to pick up my children after school on Friday, bracing myself for what was to come. It felt like the end of the year, in a way. We knew the kids would be out for at least two and a half weeks, and the uncertainty about the future was palpable. Still, the children seemed excited, more than anything else. Austin and Tommy ran around on the field, and I let them, knowing that once we left the school I wasn’t going to let them play much with anyone else. I figured they could have one last game of tag, since they’d been…

  • Empty classroom like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck


    I get that I’m supposed to remain calm. It’s what I said at the start of each of my classes on Thursday. “There is no need to panic,” I said, looking directly at my students. “We are going to get through this. We just need to plan.” That afternoon, my school announced that we would be shutting down next week. Spring break would follow, and we hoped to resume classes in early April. I breathed a sigh of relief. My kids’ school would soon follow with a similar announcement, and we could all just stay at home. “Remember, 99% of young people with COVID-19 recover in a few weeks,” my…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley lay on couch together
    Things That Suck

    My Babies Are Here With Me

    “Thank God my Dad is almost home,” I texted a friend late Wednesday night. A part of me had been worried that we overreacted when we decided he should leave DC and return to rural Oregon. But then Wednesday night happened, and I was sure that I’d made the right call. No travel to Europe. The NBA suspends its season. Tom Hanks has coronavirus. My phone lit up so many times in the hour after I put my boys to bed, I almost couldn’t process it. I knew I had to remain calm, but nothing about the past 48 hours had felt calm. My school was closed for cleaning and…

  • Father of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks with granddaughter in black and white photo
    Family & Friends

    Sometimes We Make Hard Choices When We Love Someone

    Here’s something you may not know about me: my hair falls out when I’m under intense stress. I’ve had alopecia for most of my life, though thankfully it’s concentrated on the back of my head. When it gets really bad, I can’t wear a ponytail, but otherwise most people don’t notice. I can actually measure the amount of stress I’m under by what happens with my hair. And right now, my hair is falling out. The stress started a few weeks ago. My dad had gotten sick, and I was really worried about him. Coronavirus cases continued to pop up, and I was concerned about the likely spread to DC.…

  • Father of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley reaches into backpack
    Family & Friends

    An Imperfect Parent

    The thing about living in DC is that you’re going to get called for jury duty every other year, no matter what. Even if you’re dead. I have proof! The other day, I came home from school, said hello to my kids, and started opening the mail that my dad had brought inside. Right there on top was a summons for jury duty for Shawn. “Dear God, what the Hell is this?” I said, exasperated, to my dad. Without missing a beat, he replied, “I took care of it.” “What?” I said, confused. “Well, I figured you didn’t need to deal with this so I called the number on the…