Today on the Today show website, there is a story, “Single and seriously ill: Care circles fill in for family.” There you can read about “Lucy’s Angels,” the 49 friends who helped Lucy Whitworth when she was diagnosed with cancer. The author, Rita Rubin, also points readers to a book called Share the Care about organizing care circles, and a website,, for arranging the scheduling.

I feel so fortunate to be completely healthy right now, but should that change, I would also feel fortunate to know about these possibilities. I wish this weren’t so, but I’m one who does not like to ask for help or feel indebted. Having a way to arrange scheduling so that it is all done online, and I would not have to ask for help over and over again, would be most welcome – though I can’t claim to have anywhere near Lucy’s 49 angels.

What the article does not mention is that having a circle of friends reduces the burden on any one person. I wouldn’t say, as the headline does, that care circles “fill in for family;” I think they are their own thing. Friendship is about wanting to be there more than it is about feeling obligated to be there. Of course, ideally, family members want to be there, too, but sometimes obligation is the more potent force.

A few other things I like about the story: Our friend Tricia Hoffman has a big place in the article. Tricia contributed guest posts here at All Things Single (and More) – “Same-self Marriage” – and to Living Single at Psychology Today: Celebrating Senior Singlehood. Thanks, Tricia, for sharing your experiences with us and with the Today show online readership!

Oh, and one other thing: The Singlism book is mentioned, too.