• Table with food like that visited by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Table for Seven

    The other night, I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my friends when I got a text. “Do you want to take a cab with us?” “Yes!” I replied. I was standing in my bathroom and Claire was chatting with me about her day. “Isn’t it nice that someone thought about me and asked me to go in the cab with them to dinner?” I said. “That is nice!” she said. “Who are you going to dinner with?” I listed off three couples, noting that I felt lucky that these couples wanted to include me, even though I was coming by myself. “Usually I just go out…

  • Kitchen of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Talking Football at the Kitchen Island

    The raised voices drew me closer to my kitchen counter. “No way, man, the Bears are terrible,” I heard one man say. “If you think you’re going to tell me that they are better than the Vikings, I have to remind you about that quarterback of yours!” I smiled. I was hosting an event for parents from my kids’ elementary school, and a group of men were gathered around my kitchen island. They were talking about football, I figured, and so I wasn’t really comprehending the specifics. Instead, I just listened to how they teased each other, and the good-natured laughing that interrupted their increasingly excited claims about various teams.…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley and husband Shawn having drinks
    Missing Shawn

    Home Base

    In the spring of 2016, I went to a party with Shawn at Momofuku.  The firm that had invited Shawn to the event had rented out the entire restaurant.  The night before, we had been talking about our upcoming days, and he said, “I’ll be a little bit late.  I have to go to this thing at some new restaurant.”  The second I found out it was Momofuku, I freaked out and immediately began texting babysitters.  “I’m coming too!” I told him. Shawn always loved that I liked his parties more than he did.  I would spend the evenings trying new food and drinking with the most interesting people.  Frequently,…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley in their house in DC before cancer
    Family & Friends

    Salsa in my Cup

    Two years ago, Shawn and I threw a party that was particularly crazy. We didn’t really mean for the party to get so wild.  We just wanted to have a few friends over to celebrate the year and toast our successes, failures, and ability to have merely survived.  As I remember, we were still reeling from the 2016 election, because that was the election that was supposed to have meant a big, important job for Shawn and ultimately didn’t pan out that way.  Instead, we threw a party. Somehow, we all had way too much wine, in the way that you can when you aren’t really trying to have too…

  • Shawn Brimley and his son Austin dressed up as Santa in the house of DC widow Marjorie Brimley

    Santa Shawn

    I can’t actually remember why we decided to throw our first Christmas party, but I do remember this: Shawn was adamant that he was going to dress up like Santa for it.  He spent hours scouring the internet for the perfect outfit and he even bought new shoes and tiny fake eyeglasses.  He tried on the outfit before the party and decided that his dark eyebrows gave him away, so he went to the drugstore and bought a white makeup pencil which he used to color in his eyebrows. He took it all very seriously.  “You know the kids are TWO,” I told him, “so you don’t have to do all this. …

  • Shawn Brimley's widow Marjorie accepts plaque with her children at DC think tank
    New Perspectives

    Shawn’s Wife

    Last week, I went downtown and spoke at an event in Shawn’s honor. It was a beautiful and deeply important night, and I was so glad that my entire family could be there. Over a hundred other people showed up as well. Those in attendance talked to me about Shawn’s life, our children and how much he had meant to each of them. It was perfect, but it was also difficult. It was difficult because I was reminded yet again that he’s no longer in this world. But when I reflected on it a few days later, I realized it was difficult for another reason as well: I am no…