• Tommy Brimley fixing things in our house two years before Shawn died
    Things That Suck

    Who’s Saving Our Basement?

    About a week after Shawn died the washing machine broke and the basement shower drain plugged. I had eight people in the house (me, my kids, my dad, my aunt and my two friends Kelly and Paige) and all of the sudden, nothing worked. A plumber eventually fixed the shower, but the washing machine was dead. Luckily, I figured out that if I just washed everything on “quick wash” I could get the machine to work for about 15 minutes. And so, for the next month, I washed everything on that setting. This wasn’t the only thing that started to atrophy when Shawn died. It seemed like everything did. I…

  • Getting Brimley kids ready for school in DC before becoming a widow
    Family & Friends

    “I’m at Trader Joe’s, What Do You Need?”

    In the early days of Shawn’s illness, I was home trying to organize the kids for school the next day. Our families had not yet arrived, and I was trying to figure out how to get Austin to his early Spanish class the next morning. Desperate, I texted our friends Mark and Chris, who live behind us and have a son named Grant who often plays with my kids. “If I’m remembering correctly, Grant has French on Tuesday mornings” I wrote. “If that’s the case, is there any way that Austin can go to school with Grant tomorrow? He has Spanish and I just can’t figure out how to get…