• Marjorie Brimley and Tommy before becoming a widow
    Things That Suck


    I was dropping off Tommy at a play date the other day with a friend. The mother, my friend, had invited a few kids over, and as I turned around, I saw one of Tommy’s classmates with her dad. He looked at me, trying to place me. Our mutual friend said, “Oh, I’m sure you know Tommy’s mom.” He froze. I stood there awkwardly, balancing my youngest kid on my hip. “I’m Marjorie,” I said to him. “I think we met at the parent social but it’s great to see you again.” He fumbled through some sort of greeting, but it didn’t matter. I’d seen him freeze, and I knew…

  • Tommy Brimley as a baby looking into his house in DC
    Things That Suck

    Keep Walking Past That Door

    I have another root canal today. It’s my second one in the past few months. For the first one, I had to leave Shawn at the hospital and go get the root canal and then come back immediately afterwards to be with him. He was having a hard time getting around at that point, and so he would make big goals like walking around the entire hospital wing three times. He’d wait for me to come to the hospital, and whenever I was there, we’d do his workout for the day. It was like watching someone do an Olympic event – he worked so damn hard, focusing on the task…

  • 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…