• Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale jump into lake

    Mother’s Day, Year 5

    “Be careful.” It’s one of the most frequent things I’ve said as a mom. Be careful with the small Legos around your baby brother. Be careful climbing that tree. Be careful riding your bike to get ice cream. Be careful. Of course, I said “be careful” a million times before Shawn died. But it felt like I said it a whole lot more after he died. Be careful. Be careful. Be careful. If you’re careful, then you’ll be safe. And if you’re safe, I’ll never have to worry about losing you. That was my rationale, anyway. I think it’s probably the rationale of many parents. And it’s something I know…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays in water with children

    Mother’s Day, Year 4

    When Claire was a few hours old, and we were finally alone, I held her in my arms and lifted her tiny face right next to mine. I whispered all sorts of things to her about how I would always love her and how I was going to do anything to make her life the best one it could be. I also told her that I would not repeat the mistakes of my mother. It was a silly thing to do, since she was an infant who didn’t even know that she had fingers and toes, and thus could not understand the nuances of a mother-daughter relationship. Plus, it wasn’t…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley sits on bench in park with children

    Mother’s Day, Year 3

    I am spending a lot of time with my children right now. I guess we all are. It’s one of the blessings and curses of this pandemic. Every day is family day. Anyway, since I rarely leave my children, they’ve become even more attached to me than usual. It’s meant that bedtime takes longer because no one wants me to leave, and that Claire insists we talk about all sorts of intense subjects at the end of the day. Almost every night as I’m leaving her room she says something like, “don’t die, mama, okay? In case you do, I want you to know that I love you so much.…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with her husband and child on the day she became a mom

    Mother’s Day, Year 2

    Mother’s Day has never been easy for me. For years – over a decade – I dreaded this day, as all it did was remind me that my own mom was gone from this earth. The first Mother’s Day without my mom was awful. But it was also lovely, in a way, as so many people checked in with me. They sent flowers and cards and well-wishes. I felt loved, even if I was really sad that day. But then came the next Mother’s Day, and the Mother’s Day after that. Gradually, people stopped checking in on me. I grew up, got married, and “got on” with my life. Mother’s…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with her children

    One of the Most Important Things a School Can Do

    I just got an email from my son Tommy’s pre-kindergarten teacher that made me cry. I’ll paraphrase it here: Dear Parents, Mark your calendars for FAMILY DAY! In lieu of Mother’s and Father’s day celebrations we would love you to join us for breakfast to celebrate our pre-kindergarten families! Coffee, juice and assorted pastries will be served, along with the special bread recipe created by our class! Hope to see you there! Obviously the teacher wasn’t trying to make me cry. But, she did. She made me cry because of this simple act of inclusion. And it made me think this: I bet the teacher was thinking of me when…

  • Austin Brimley Mother's Day card

    Mother’s Day

    On Friday, Austin came home from first grade and announced he had made a card for me.  He handed it over and I told him I’d put it away to open on Sunday.  But the front of it was hilariously cute.  On it, he’d written, “Happy!!! Mothers!!! Day!!! Mom!!!!” and drawn a stick-figure likeness of me and him.  I couldn’t wait to open it. That night, we had to go to the elementary school picnic.  Of course, it was scheduled at the same time as the preschool picnic which was across the street.  This seems to happen every year and was never an easy situation even when Shawn was alive. …