Filling Her Shoes – A Memoir of an Inherited Family by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder.
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.
A Word from the Author
Filling Her Shoes was not originally written to be a book. When Betsy Graziani Fasbinder was about to become a mother for the first time she did what she’d always done to find understand her new endeavor: she went to the bookstore. But when all of the books either had to do with caring for babies or sharing custody with an ex, she found no information to help in her circumstances. She was marrying a widower—who happened to be a long-time friend—with a seven-year-old son, stepping into the shoes of a young mother taken too soon. There’d be no nursery to decorate. There’d be no custody battles or jealousy. There’d be no ex, just a man and a boy who had already suffered a most tragic loss and the desire to create a safe and loving family where all of them could heal together. To understand her own experiences, and since she found no help in the pages of other books, Betsy started writing about the moments of their becoming a family, and the experience of becoming a mother in the wake of loss. Filling Her Shoes is a sweet-bitter, happy ending story of grief and gratitude living side by side and the healing powers of love and family.
(Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, July 2017)