• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley gets car battery repaired
    New Perspectives

    The Day the Car Didn’t Start

    The day the car didn’t start was a day when I really needed the car to start. I guess that’s usually how it goes, right? As usual, I had risen at five in the morning, gone on a run and pulled myself together by the time my kids woke up. “Okay,” I said to the three of them at breakfast, “here’s the plan. Grandpa Tom will take Tommy to his allergy shots. I’ll drop Austin off with the Wilsons and Claire is coming with me to Children’s Hospital to get a blood draw. We’ll all need to go in a few minutes.” I rounded the big kids up and we…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley talks to others at event in downtown Washington
    Things That Suck

    “It Hurt for Me”

    I see my therapist once a week. We talk about my life and how to reframe things that are difficult for me. I like my therapist. But an hour a week is really not enough to help me. I think I’d probably need to see her every single day for the amount of therapy I need. Since I can’t do that, I often end up relying on my friends. Last week, I had a particularly difficult day. I think it was because I was thinking a lot about Mother’s Day (why are holidays still SO difficult?) and trying to deal with the logistics of school winding down. It was just…

  • DC Widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley and her family watch the elementary school talent show

    The Talent Show

    “Check your email again, Mom,” Claire begged. “I have to know if we made the talent show!” I did. And there was the email – her act had made it into the elementary school talent show. She jumped up and down with joy. “We’re doing ‘Happier’ by Marshmello and Bastille,” she said. “We’re going to sing and dance and wear glittery hats.” That sounded awesome, and I told her so. I smiled at her, and she ran off to practice. I took a deep breath. This was a good thing. Last year’s talent show had been a disaster – she had missed tryouts because I wasn’t reading anything the school…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's daughter Claire outside a subway station with her cousin in NYC

    New York, New York

    “Woah,” Claire said as we came out of the dark tunnel and into the sunshine.  “This is New York?  It’s AMAZING!” We had arrived at Penn Station for a special birthday trip to the Big Apple.  She’d been to New York before, but she didn’t remember it.  This trip was going to be different.  We were meeting her cousin Ashley (and Ashley’s mom Amy, who flew out from Texas to meet us because they are awesome) and we were going to celebrate Claire’s first decade of life.  “It’s so busy!” Claire said, “and all the cabs are yellow.  And there’s someone dressed like Wonder Woman over there!” I laughed.  Her…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's daughter Claire writes "I love you Dad" on memory board
    Family & Friends

    Colon Cancer Run

    “Looks like the date of the Scope It Out run has been set for March 31,” the text read. It was from my friend Ilan. After Shawn died, Ilan spent countless hours organizing the first group of people to run in this spring 5K to raise money for colon cancer. I knew he wanted to continue the tradition this year. I looked at his text again.  Could that date be right?  It was.  The colon cancer run was scheduled for Claire’s tenth birthday.  While I had a whole string of events planned for her, I knew that we’d also have to participate in the run on the same day.  I…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley stands under waterfall in her clothes

    “It’s Okay, You Can Do It!”

    My daughter has had over 300 shots in her lifetime. I never really added it all up until I began writing this blog post and I was trying to remember how many times she’d been stuck with a needle. Her allergies restricted much of her life as a young child, so when she was in first grade, she started allergy shots: two shots every week for the first two years, and then less frequent but still regular injections after that. So a few weeks ago when we were at the allergist, I was surprised when she became quite nervous at the thought of getting her blood drawn. “A blood draw?”…