Monday, February 13, 2012


I've written posts in tribute to my mom and my dad before, and I know I mention them often. I've talked about my brother and sisters (both Linda and our "adopted" sister Vicky), as well, and their spouses. I just want to say that my family is wonderful. They are generous, loving, helpful, compassionate, intelligent and fun to be with. We have great times when we're together, and I'm blessed to have such a family.

Aside from that, though, I'm learning that you can tell the true character of people by how they respond in times of crisis. I've had way too many times in my life when I've needed help from my family (IMHO) because of my health, and these last few months, although (thankfully) not health related, have been very hard for me. My family has been supportive, helpful and abundantly kind and generous. They've helped me so much. Just knowing that I can call on them to talk me off the ledge, if you will, helps me tremendously. I know that we have differences of opinion about many things from time to time, but I also know that none of that matters when the chips are done. We are family, we are Fithians, we are here for one another, no matter what.

Thanks, guys.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Without friends, no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. ~Aristotle

These last few months, I have come to believe this more and more. And really, as I look over my entire life, it's always been this way. Each trial, trauma, challenge, celebration and accolade I've faced have been made easier, smoother, richer and immeasurably better because of my friends.

I couldn't even write out for you all the ways my friends (I'll talk about my family another time) have supported me, encouraged me, taught me and blessed me. This past week alone, I've been struck particularly by the everlasting nature of friendship. What I mean is this; that when you have good friends, true connections with people, you can go for a long, long time without seeing them and then when you get the chance to be together again, it's like no time has passed.

What a blessing that is.

And what a great joy it is to have friends you can see often, people who will meet you emotionally wherever you are. Friends will comfort you when you're sobbing, pat you on the back when you're being brave, encourage you when you're scared and help you see the best in things when you're uncertain. Friends pray for you, even when they don't agree with your choices. Friends what what is best for you, always.

I am so blessed, so lucky, so overjoyed to have such good friends. Thank you all for making this dark, dark time so livable. Every little email, tweet, note, smile, listening moment, hug, etc, helps me make it through these days.

Thanks, also, to those of you who trust me to help you carry your own burdens. It is an honor I do not take lightly. Loving others is the best way to get past my own woes.

Thanks for helping me move along . . .

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

How do you count down the final days of a marriage?

I was watching a recent episode of the sitcom Royal Pains this evening, and in it, a couple in the Hamptons (Long Island) had a big divorce party. The woman wore a black bridal-type gown, the man was in a morning jacket looking dapper. They had a divorce ceremony, a cake where the top layer was split and the "couple" on the top were headed in opposite directions . . . it was crazy. I can't imagine being so flippant about something so emotionally wrenching and difficult, about the breaking of vows that I consider sacred.

On the other hand, it's hard for me not to look on the upside of things when I can. I'm trying to take the little victories where I find them (taking care of house details on my own, handling each day of our routine without breaking down, making my paycheck last until I receive the next one). I'm a natural optimist, and I'm always trying to be positive, using humor to dispel my despair. Some people might find my own brand of humor at times like this to be flippant, but in reality it is just how I cope with life's trials.

So, in a week my marriage will officially be declared dissolved. I am immeasurably sad, rather scared, a little excited to see what will happen next, and slightly relieved that it's not been more emotionally draining that it's been. I'm praying a lot, talking to friends often (thank you all so much), spending a lot of time with Si, keeping my chin up and my head above water and all of those other things one is supposed to do in hard times. My back is in knots and I'm eating too much chocolate, too, but hey, no one's perfect, right?

So how do I measure these last days? I think of the song in RENT - Seasons of Love -
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

Yea, that's about it, but add to that list: scoops of ice cream, glasses of wine, knit stitches.