• Christmas list of Tommy son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Tommy’s Christmas List

    Tommy has the most insane Christmas list this year. He’s been working on it for over a month, and there are dozens of things across the two pages. He can’t spell anything, so he’s constantly asking me to help him spell things like, “Freddy Krueger claws.” That’s just the beginning. Also included are the following: a drone, a virtual reality bodysuit, a Jason mask, treasure, a phone, a motorcycle, a real elf, and $10,000. Austin keeps trying to tell him that he won’t get any of this stuff on his list, but Tommy believes in Santa. And not just any Santa. He believes in the one who does magical things.…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer in front yard before husband's death

    Excerpt from Marjorie’s Speech, “Remembering Those We Love”

    On December 1st, 2017 my husband Shawn was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.  He never left the hospital for more than a short stint at home.  Less than six weeks later, on January 9th, 2018 he died in my arms. So to say that the holidays are fraught for me….well, that’s an understatement if I’ve ever heard one. What are you supposed to do when you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis but can see the twinkling Christmas lights from your hospital room? What are you supposed to do when you are watching all the kids walk down the street dressed up for Halloween, and your own child is gone…

  • Fries like those eaten by DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley on Christmas
    Things That Suck

    Sweet Potato Fries

    The morning of Shawn’s funeral, I went to put on the one black skirt I had, and it literally fell off my body. I hadn’t realized until that point how much weight I had lost over the previous six weeks. My sister helped pin the skirt on me, and told me that really, it didn’t look that bad. “No one will notice,” she said. She was trying to be comforting, but it was probably true. No one was going to care what I was wearing. Including me. I hadn’t been able to eat much at all throughout Shawn’s hospital stay. At times, I was outright banned from eating in his…

  • Christmas presents like the ones delivered to the house of DC Widow Marjorie Brimley and family

    Christmas Eve

    A few days ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw someone complaining that her child had just radically changed his Christmas list.  “He wants a dozen laser tag guns now!  And I just finished all of the wrapping!” the person whined. I get it.  These small details can be annoying when we have a million things going on.  But do you know what it made me realize? At that point, five days before Christmas, I had purchased just one present for each of my children.  ONE. Last year it wasn’t like this at all.  I planned ahead and bought most of my presents in November, so when Shawn was…

  • Inflatable Santa in the yard of DC widow Marjorie Brimley

    Decorating for Christmas

    My front yard looks like something out of one of those bad Christmas movies.  I’m serious.  There are lights randomly strewn about, two fake deer, a dozen solar-powered candy canes and two massive inflatable figures – a snowman and a Santa.  I bought none of this stuff – it was all Shawn. Last year, he set it all up even though he was in the emergency room less than 24 hours later.  I know he worried that I wouldn’t be able to figure out the wiring system he used, and he had very specific ideas about how the lights should look.  When I think back on it, I remember him…