• ER hallway like that visited by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Room 9

    Tommy’s clothes were covered in blood when I saw him. He’d been playing football with the big kids and had finally gotten the ball. Excited by this thrilling turn of events, he took off…and collided with the iron fence. The cut on his head was deep. He needed to go to the ER. Chris volunteered to go, but the health insurance for Tommy comes from me. As we’ve already discovered, just because the kids and I think of Chris as a parent doesn’t mean he legally has those advantages at this point. I needed to take Tommy. Chris would stay behind with the big kids, both of whom were pretty…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks away from the camera with son Tommy

    Being Alone is Scary

    One night in early February, as the wind whipped the trees so hard that they seemed to bend sideways, I laid in bed and tried to warm up my freezing toes. Life finally had a rhythm to it, and I was getting used to year three of widowhood. I thought about Valentine’s Day, and how it was around the corner, and I was still without a partner. This year, however, I was feeling a sense of peace about my singledom. I was still dating, but the urgency of finding someone new had abated. As I sat there writing and thinking, Tommy came to my door and then climbed into my…

  • 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…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley in black and white

    Musings on Heaven at Dinner

    Every night at dinner, we discuss the good things that happened in our day. Austin usually tells us about something that happened at with his friends at recess. Claire often shares about the musical (it is a very big deal in fifth grade.) Tommy sometimes can’t think of what to say, so we all try and ask him about the things we imagine are happening in kindergarten. The other night we were all sharing, and everyone had talked besides Tommy. He sat there, clearly thinking about what to say. Then, out of the blue, he said, “I wonder who will die next in our family? Probably Grandpa Tom!” “Tommy!” Claire…

  • Christmas list of Tommy son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Tommy’s Christmas List

    Tommy has the most insane Christmas list this year. He’s been working on it for over a month, and there are dozens of things across the two pages. He can’t spell anything, so he’s constantly asking me to help him spell things like, “Freddy Krueger claws.” That’s just the beginning. Also included are the following: a drone, a virtual reality bodysuit, a Jason mask, treasure, a phone, a motorcycle, a real elf, and $10,000. Austin keeps trying to tell him that he won’t get any of this stuff on his list, but Tommy believes in Santa. And not just any Santa. He believes in the one who does magical things.…

  • Poster collage of the family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends


    “I love lemonade!” Tommy declared, as he walked out of the restaurant where we’d just finished eating. “You love lemonade, just like your Grandpa Tom,” I said. My dad laughed. Thirty minutes prior, when we were waiting in line to order, my dad confessed to me, “I let them get a fountain drink when we come here without you.” I told him it was fine with me if they got something sweet to drink, and I let the kids order what they wanted. Tommy chose lemonade, just like my dad. So as we exited the restaurant, we both laughed as Tommy took the last sips of his lemonade and danced…