Betsy Graziani Fasbinder became a second wife when she married a widower with a young son. Their family fashioned itself with loss and love as their foundation, and with tenderness and commitment as their guides. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Fire & Water and the founder of The Morning Glory Project, which celebrates those who have not only survived tragic loss and trauma but who have turned their heartbreak into heroism and their history into inspiration. Betsy has been a licensed psychotherapist in California since 1992. She lives with her husband in their recently empty nest in Marin County, California. Learn more at www.betsygrazianifasbinder.com.
about FILLING HER SHOES
On the day that she decided to marry a widower—also a long-time friend—Betsy Graziani Fasbinder knew that she wasn’t only gaining a husband, she was inheriting a son. Unlike many stepmothers, Betsy didn’t have to struggle with an ex, or court battles, or the weekend shuffle between houses—but she did have to navigate living in the shadow of a young mother taken too soon, to honor the memory of her son’s first mother, and to become the kind of parent and partner she herself wanted to be. Over time this family would learn how love’s roots were formed in their shared losses, and how the new family love and joy they created together would become the richest kind of inheritance.
about FIRE AND WATER
Only in the glaring light of hindsight does aspiring surgeon Kate Murphy understand that she was groomed for the path she’s taken. Raised by a widowed dad and a misshapen, sometimes comical trio of parental surrogates from Murphy’s Pub, her father’s Irish bar in San Francisco, Kate has never understood how protected she is—but when she learns that her well-meaning family has hidden bitter truths about her mother’s mental illness and death, the rest of her family history unravels.