• Claire Brimley, daughter of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, at the colon cancer race in DC
    Missing Shawn

    They Remain for Me, Too

    The kids know that the annual 5K ScopeItOut run (put on by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance) is a really big deal in our house. We talk about it for weeks and they know that the team is one that is in honor of their dad Shawn. We even have t-shirts. They are all still young enough that they think the team name “The Turd Offset” is hilarious. (Lots of team names utilize the puns of butts, and ours is the same. Shawn worked on “The Third Offset” strategy when he was in government.) In any case, this year was no different. Everyone was excited to do the run, and for…

  • guitar and hands for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    Witness Something Special

    I love and hate September. It’s the same every year. I look forward to the excitement of school starting, the promise of leaves changing to bright oranges and reds, and the feeling of hope in the air. But September also means the end of summer, the end of lazy mornings, and the end of popsicles and watermelon at the pool. For me, September also brings late night lesson planning and early morning lunch packing and – this year – a wedding. It’s a lot of change. A few weeks ago, as September began, Chris and I decided that we needed a night away from home, just the two of us.…

  • Beach for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    The Exploding Whale

    Yesterday, an old friend alerted me that it was the 50th anniversary of the exploding whale video. I laughed to myself as I searched for the video. “Kids!” I said loudly, “come in the kitchen and watch this video. It was one of dad’s favorites!” I clicked on YouTube and there it was: the exploding whale video. (For your amusement, I’ll link it here, but since it’s kind of gross I won’t embed it. For a description: a dead whale washed up on an Oregon beach in the 1970s and the authorities decided to use dynamite to blow it up. It did not go as planned.) The kids watched with…

  • 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…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley sitting next to boyfriend

    What Does It Take to Date a Widow?

    As I write this, my partner Chris is sitting across the kitchen island, typing something on his computer. He’s focused on what he is doing, so I can take a minute to look at him. He’s got a scruffy face, the kind of stubble that’s sexy on men like him, and he’s wearing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg t-shirt, which makes him even more attractive to me. He is not smiling right now, because he is working, but I can see the softness that’s always in his eyes. It’s a softness I know because he looks at me with those eyes all the time. Just behind him is a photo of…

  • Missing Shawn

    That Super Bowl Google Ad

    Were you watching the Super Bowl last night? If you were, did you see that Google advertisement, the one with the old man remembering his late wife? If you saw it, did you think that it was sweet? Did you think about your own grandparents? Did you imagine that someday you would be like that old man? Well, not me. All I felt was pure, unadulterated rage. I realize this is not what the makers of this ad intended. I’m sure they wanted viewers to feel a mix of nostalgia and love when they saw it. I mean, what beautiful narration by the widower, and what amazing images of the…