• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley stands outside of house and hands son his shoes
    Things That Suck

    I Followed the Rules

    I followed the rules. They weren’t written, of course. They weren’t even said, at least not explicitly. But they were there. Find a nice man. Wait to sleep with him until you’re sure he won’t run out the door the next morning. Make sure he knows you are in the relationship for something serious. Get engaged while you’re still young, and married within a year after the proposal. Buy a house as soon as you can afford it. Don’t go to Starbucks every day if it means you’ll get to buy that new couch at the end of the year. Don’t drink too much or do any drugs, and call…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's husband plays guitar at their wedding

    Our 15th Wedding Anniversary

    Shawn used to play an acoustic version of Ice Ice Baby on his guitar. He didn’t do it much after we had kids but when we were in our 20s and I’d egg him on at parties, he’d whip out his guitar and start with this: All right stopCollaborate and listenIce is back with my brand new inventionSomething grabs a hold of me tightlyThen I flow that a harpoon daily and nightlyWill it ever stop?Yo, I don’t knowTurn off the lights and I’ll glow He’d always sing the whole thing, but what made it so hilarious was his intonation and the fact that he pretended to take it really seriously.…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley marries Shawn Brimley in 2004
    Missing Shawn

    Freak-Out Letter #6

    Just before Shawn and I got married, I almost backed out. I mean, not really. I knew I was going to marry him. But I had just turned 25 and I had a little freak-out that we were getting married too young. I had barely graduated from college and neither of us had jobs. We were moving to a city where we had no friends and I had spent the previous 3 years traveling around the world with little more than what I could fit in a backpack. I can’t remember exactly what brought on the freak-out, but I definitely remember crying to Shawn about how maybe we should postpone…

  • Image of door to represent DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley wanting to greet her husband Shawn
    Things That Suck

    Running to the Door

    When Shawn and I met in Japan, he had a girlfriend back home in Canada. He liked her a lot, that was clear, and so we were just friends for the first year we knew each other. But eventually time and space meant that they broke up. “Why?” I asked him the night he told me. “I never called her,” he said. “When I finally called her yesterday, she cried and said I obviously didn’t care about her if I didn’t ever want to call her.” He paused, thinking about it. I can still remember his face – he was contemplating his own actions. “She’s probably right,” he said. “I…

  • Wedding ring of Marjorie Brimley DC widow blog writer that was remade into a cocktail ring
    New Perspectives

    The Ring

    I took it off for the first time as an experiment. Since the day I was married, I wore my wedding ring constantly.  I know many people take their rings off every night but that wasn’t me.  I knew if I took my ring off, I’d lose it.  So no matter where I was – the pool, the gym, the sink, the bed – I kept my wedding ring on. As we gained financial stability, Shawn would ask me if I wanted a “nicer” ring someday.  “No!” I always told him, emphatically.  I loved that ring.  “I don’t want a new ring,” I’d say to him.  “This is the ring…

  • Photos of Marjorie and Shawn Brimley in photos just before and after their marriage
    Missing Shawn

    Stories for My Daughter

    One of my favorite parts of my day is after my boys fall asleep and I go into Claire’s room and sit on her bed. Sometimes we both read silently, and other times she tells me about the dramas of fourth grade or other things that are on her mind. One day last week, when we were quietly reading, she looked up from her book and said, “Mama, tell me about the day that Daddy asked you to marry him.” I smiled. I have told her the story many times, but she loves to hear it. “Well, baby, we were in Costa Rica, where we were living at the time,”…