• Boyfriend of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley watches children in ocean

    Family Resemblance

    I was walking with Claire on a mostly-deserted trail when we saw a man coming towards us. We moved to the side to let him pass and he asked, “Is that your family up ahead?” About 30 minutes earlier, all three kids had been ready to quit the hike. There were so many mosquitos and everyone was really hot. Chris had done the hike many times before, and kept trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to encourage the kids to “just keep going!” Finally, in a fit of desperation, Austin ran ahead, though Claire refused to do the same. Chris volunteered to catch up with Austin. He was also carrying Tommy on his…

  • Computer and glasses on table like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    How Am I Actually Going to Do This?

    I keep getting emails from my school (and the kids’ schools and my other educator friends) about the importance of engagement in distance learning and doing better with emotional connections with students and all of the technological advances I need to know about for my classes. It’s all important. I believe in it all, I do. And I am totally overwhelmed by it. I know that most of my teacher friends are overwhelmed. I know that most parents are overwhelmed. I know that working parents are even more stressed and I know that single parents have it the worst. I know that my situation is not unique, and I know…

  • Queen Anne's Lace
    Family & Friends

    Queen Anne’s Lace

    My mother was beautiful as a young woman, or at least that’s what my dad always says. Actually, he always says that she was beautiful at every age, and I know he means it. I remember her much more as an older woman of the 1980s and 1990s, wearing culotte shorts and sporting the hair of the time period. She looked like any other mom, I guess, and I never thought of her as particularly beautiful. But to my dad, she was. My dad loves to talk about my mom. I knew her better than my kids ever knew Shawn, because I had more time with her. But of course…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with children on bridge
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Could My Date Be a Father to My Kids?

    I got a note from a reader the other day that made me pause. Yes, I get a number of public comments and private notes, and I’m used to answering them. But this one, from a fellow young widow, really made me think: I know my husband would want me to find love again. He wouldn’t want me to spend the next 40-50 years alone (I’m a young widow). It’s only been 7.5 months. I’m not anywhere near ready to let someone else in. The thought of it just upsets me. But, I think it’s a possibility in the future. However, what I really struggle with is potentially letting a…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with her boyfriend at the sea
    Family & Friends

    What is Family?

    I’ve always had a pretty expansive understanding of family. As a young child, I lived with my extended family in Texas for a number of months while my mother recovered from her first terrible bout with depression. I was young – just three – so I don’t remember all of the details, but I do know that I was loved deeply by everyone there. We spent many more summers down in Texas throughout my childhood, and I always thought of my family there as more than “extended.” Maybe it was because my mom wasn’t always well, but I learned to think about family with a broad lens as I grew…

  • Glass of beer for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    What Kind of Beer Do I Like?

    Shawn loved beer. He always claimed it was a Canadian thing. “We drink beer!” he’d say when I asked him about why he was requesting a Coors Light at an afternoon barbecue. I got him interested in the Oregon wine my dad shipped us every year, and every once in a blue moon, he’d order a mixed drink at a bar. But really, Shawn loved beer. His tastes were not high brow. He mostly liked cheap beer (see aforementioned Coors Light) and other light beers. One of his favorite beers was a shandy, which is basically beer mixed with lemonade. On the first nice day of spring, he’d go to…