• Bread made by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    Shawn’s Birthday, Year 4

    I bake at least four loaves of bread every week. I know, it may seem excessive, but I’ve got three kids! Still, that’s not really the reason I bake so much bread. Mostly, I do it because I love it. I haven’t always baked bread like I do now. I learned how to do it in my 20s, but it was a “special event” sort of thing, something I did maybe once or twice a year. I didn’t have any special equipment or techniques (I used Jim Lahey’s no-knead recipe) and mostly, I just bought our bread at the grocery store. Shawn used to love it when I made homemade…

  • Field at sunrise for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    You Can Do This. You Are Doing This.

    Sometimes when I’m on a run, I feel real clarity about my life. There’s something about the way that running strips down my insecurities and worries and eventually – usually near the end – I can often feel answers to questions I’m pondering. This only happens when I run alone. For the past few months, I’ve been running much more frequently with my partner Chris, and for much of late June and early July, I was sidelined with an ankle injury. I’ve only just started running solo again, and while I much prefer to chat with a friend or with my partner while I run, I also see the important…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's daughter, Claire, performs in the Little Mermaid as Flounder

    Not Such a Guppy Anymore

    For weeks leading up to the tryouts for the elementary school musical, The Little Mermaid, Claire kept telling me how much she was hoping to be cast as Flounder. (As a note, Flounder is the small fish who is Ariel’s best friend.) When I wondered whether she might rather want to be Ursula or Ariel, she remained firm that Flounder was the best role for her. We talked about how she might be cast in the ensemble, like last year, and she said that she would be happy with any role. But when she found out that yes, she had been cast as Flounder, she was over-the-moon. And in case…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley and her daughter Claire on a boat in summer

    Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

    It was time to jump.  And Claire was scared.  Not just a little bit scared, the way kids can get when they say “I’m scared!” but it’s mostly just nervous excitement.  No – she was legitimately scared.  The waves were actually pretty rough and the boat was rocking significantly.  “Claire,” I said, taking her face in my hands, “you can do this.  You’re only going to get this one chance.  I know you’re scared but I’ll jump with you.” Then I took her hand and led her up to the jumping-off point of the boat.  She held tight.  I could see the fear still in her eyes but I could…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley holds Jell-o shots at 90s party
    New Perspectives

    My 200th Blog Post

    I remember the first blog post I wrote. I was sitting in jury duty, hating life, and thinking: God, I should text Shawn about the ineptitude of the jury system. And then I remembered that I couldn’t text him, because he had died the month prior. I wrote down what was in my head, trying to describe what it felt like to not be able to text the one person who had always had my back for the previous fifteen years. I found it really difficult to do, but somehow, 800 words emerged. At the end of that post, I wrote this: When we said those words, “for better or…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley stands under waterfall in her clothes

    “It’s Okay, You Can Do It!”

    My daughter has had over 300 shots in her lifetime. I never really added it all up until I began writing this blog post and I was trying to remember how many times she’d been stuck with a needle. Her allergies restricted much of her life as a young child, so when she was in first grade, she started allergy shots: two shots every week for the first two years, and then less frequent but still regular injections after that. So a few weeks ago when we were at the allergist, I was surprised when she became quite nervous at the thought of getting her blood drawn. “A blood draw?”…