• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walking with her sons

    Can I Take Out the Trash?

    (I wrote the piece below for an outside publication a few months ago. It didn’t end up running, so I’m publishing it here. Obviously, some of the details are from a time when we could interact with people outside our household.) I’ve been worrying about my boys lately. Not for any specific reason. I mean, they seem fine. They like to play outside and ride their bikes and jump on the neighbor’s trampoline. Tommy is learning to read. Austin is a whiz at math. Neither of my sons cause trouble at school and both boys have solid friendships. But there’s so much that worries me in the years ahead, especially…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs her son Tommy in the woods
    Things That Suck


    I may need to give up social media for the next few months. I’m serious. I mean, I’m getting a lot of great information from the journalists I follow and I am able to connect with many people that I can’t see face-to-face anymore. It’s important to my writing that I remain on social media. And really, I find out things happening in my local community a lot easier through social media than I do through any other means. But dear GOD, I’m starting to really hate all the “happy coronavirus” photos. Listen, I’m a contributor as well. I post the photos of my kids playing outside and dutifully finishing…

  • Father of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley reaches into backpack
    Family & Friends

    An Imperfect Parent

    The thing about living in DC is that you’re going to get called for jury duty every other year, no matter what. Even if you’re dead. I have proof! The other day, I came home from school, said hello to my kids, and started opening the mail that my dad had brought inside. Right there on top was a summons for jury duty for Shawn. “Dear God, what the Hell is this?” I said, exasperated, to my dad. Without missing a beat, he replied, “I took care of it.” “What?” I said, confused. “Well, I figured you didn’t need to deal with this so I called the number on the…

  • DC widow blog writer stands with her father and children
    Things That Suck

    I’m Still Alive!

    It was Monday morning last week when I started to really worry. I was back at work after a week off and my dad was really sick. “How are you feeling?” I asked. “I’m still alive!” he texted back. At least I knew he still had his sense of humor. But my dad was really sick. He claimed he’d just gotten a virus, but he was so lethargic it was worrying me. Needless to say, I don’t do well with debilitating illness anymore. And neither does anyone in my family. Claire and Austin had been asking me about Grandpa Tom ever since our return from vacation. “Is he okay?” Austin…

  • Pantry of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Disaster Prep and the Coronavirus

    When Shawn was alive, we always had a disaster plan. We designated a place that we would meet outside the city if we had to escape, we had canned goods and backpacks of supplies, and we owned a damn generator. I mean, we were ready. But really, I wasn’t ready at all. I was just married to Shawn, and he was a tiny bit obsessed with the idea of an impending apocalypse. Usually, he brought it up in a semi-joking way, talking about the zombie apocalypse or something similarly silly. But sometimes – like when he got an inside look at some type of government planning in case of a…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley faces DisneyWorld castle with children

    The Happiest Place on Earth

    “Tommy, listen to me,” I said very seriously as we sat on the plane down to Florida, “you are going to have to walk a lot on this trip. Mama can’t carry you all the time, and you’ll have to stay with our family. There will be a lot of people and I don’t want you getting lost.” Tommy looked at me and earnestly nodded his head.  I knew he was really excited.  Claire and Austin squealed behind us.  Just a few hours prior, I’d announced that instead of a few days at a local indoor waterpark, we were headed to DisneyWorld for a week!  I couldn’t believe I’d managed…