• Coffee cup like that in blog post by DC widow Marjorie Brimley

    The Girl at the Coffee Shop

    Is there anything better than writing on a beautiful day at an outdoor coffee shop? Not for me. I love it. And I finally had a few free hours to do it the other day. I sipped my tea slowly and listened to the wind in the trees. The silence was broken abruptly by the woman sitting next to me. She was young – probably a college student – and she was talking really loudly. I went to put on my headphones. But then I paused. “I guess she posted the photo of her dad in hospital because she wanted everyone to know what was going on,” the young woman…

  • Fries like those eaten by DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley on Christmas
    Things That Suck

    Sweet Potato Fries

    The morning of Shawn’s funeral, I went to put on the one black skirt I had, and it literally fell off my body. I hadn’t realized until that point how much weight I had lost over the previous six weeks. My sister helped pin the skirt on me, and told me that really, it didn’t look that bad. “No one will notice,” she said. She was trying to be comforting, but it was probably true. No one was going to care what I was wearing. Including me. I hadn’t been able to eat much at all throughout Shawn’s hospital stay. At times, I was outright banned from eating in his…

  • Facial creme at a salon where DC widow Marjorie Brimley went in this story
    New Perspectives

    Life advice from the aesthetician

    “Do you have kids?” the woman at the salon asked me. It was an innocuous question – one that I’ve asked other people a million times. But I knew where it might go. “I do,” I said, “three of them. All under 10.” “Wow,” she said, “that’s a lot of kids to handle.” “Well, yes, especially since I’m a single mom,” I said. “No kidding,” she said without pause, “I’m a single mom too. And it’s not easy.” A kindred spirit, of sorts, and here she was, giving me a facial. She looked like she was around my age, so I thought I’d just tell her the whole story. “My…

  • Image of car tires to represent the flat time of DC widow Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    I Might As Well Get Cheaper Tires If My Husband Has to Be Dead

    I heard the hissing immediately. What the hell was happening? I hopped out of the car, and looked down. A woman walking her dog stopped. “It’s your tire,” she said. “It’s not good.” She wasn’t kidding. There was a 2-inch slit in my tire and it was completely flat. “Shit, shit, shit!” I said, staring at the tire. Austin’s baseball game was starting in 5 minutes. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a 2-hour second grade baseball game with a 4-year-old in tow, but at least it gave me time. I walked up to the game. “My tire is flat,” I told the parents who had assembled for the game.…

  • Claire Brimley holding Tommy's hand in the airport this summer
    New Perspectives

    The Marine

    While traveling this summer, I had one day that was particularly bad. I was alone with my three kids and we’d been bumped from our original flight to a later one. We were seated in random seats across the very last row of the plane, and everyone was exhausted. As we got on, I instructed Claire to hold Tommy’s hand and make sure he didn’t fall in the crack between the airplane and the tarmac. When we got to the last row, a kind woman there offered to switch seats so that all three kids could sit in a row. She said she didn’t mind and then offered me the…

  • Road that is empty outside Washington DC
    New Perspectives

    5 Stars

    Living in DC means taking cabs. Shawn and I took plenty of cabs for the 13 years we lived in DC together, and he always loved chatting with the drivers. I remember one time when we were going out he got into a long discussion with our driver who had fled Iran during the 1979 revolution. Our friends who were also in the cab were blown away with how much Shawn knew about the revolution. Our driver, who became Shawn’s newest best friend, was pretty impressed too. But now I’m taking cabs alone, so I prefer using a car service where I can see who my driver is. I especially…