The Color of Rain

Oct 3, 2013
The Color of Rain by: Michael and Gina Spehn

FROM GOODREADS.COM:  This real-life Brady Bunch story is about what it means to endure the unthinkable---and still open one's heart to what's next. When two childhood friends die of cancer six weeks apart, the shared experience of loss brings their grieving spouses together.

After months of late-night phone calls, family dinners, and countless dreams and tears, this unlikely pair builds a trust, a love, and a shared life. Told from alternating points of view, The Color of Rain illuminates the stepping-stones of healing that lead to a joyful new beginning for Michael and Gina Spehn and their five children.

Like many who grieve, Michael and Gina had to choose to hope again. Along the way, they discovered that God can restore the darkest circumstances---and even from death, He can bring new life. Michael and Gina's gripping story of 'growing new hearts' will inspire readers not only to survive loss but also to receive the new courage, faith, and identity that God gives in the midst of tragedy.

This is NOT a book review.

RAMBLINGS ABOUT THE BOOK: Plain and simple - it was fantastically written. The book switches back and forth from Gina's perspective to Michael's and vice versa, and both (although their styles are different) are eloquent writers. They take us through the beginnings of their respective marriages, the birth of their children, and up until and after their spouse's cancer diagnoses. They don't hold back when describing the disease and how it took the lives of their true loves, Matt and Cathy. It's written with a love for their deceased spouses, and a love for each other and their children. This book is about tragedy, triumph, hope, love, and faith.

WHAT THE BOOK SAID TO ME: I knew this book was going to be hard for me to get through and heart wrenching for me. I've, unfortunately, had to deal with cancer too many times in my short 29 years. My brother was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 26, my husband and I lost our friend, Andy, to leukemia (he was only 26), my aunt passed away in June, and one of my dance students (also a daughter of some old family friends) dealt with the ugliness of leukemia and passed away at the age of 17. It's such a nasty, hurtful disease that seems waaaay to prevalent in our world today. I did get through the book without crying, and the only reason was because I read the majority of it at work. The hardest parts for me to read where the "death scenes." As Gina and Michael described the final hours of Matt and Cathy's lives my heart ached and my stomach turned. I don't think I've EVER read a book that has affected me the way this one did. It really made me stop and think about my own marriage. What is Nick was sick? Am I doing enough every day for him to know that I love him unconditionally, and do I really appreciate him enough? When I got home from work the night after reading of Matt's final hours, I made Nick lay on the bed with me. I explained to him what I was reading about and proceeded to discuss my feelings for him. I feel so blessed that we are both healthy. Secondly, it made me think about my brother and his wife. He was diagnosed 2 weeks before their wedding. The amazing woman that my sister-in-law is, she stuck by him through it all. They got married as planned and went on their honeymoon as planned. Thankfully, today, my brother is doing fantastic. I am happy to report that he is a DAD! But, I kept putting him and his wife in Gina and Matt's place as I read through the book. What if his cancer was terminal? I could imagine his wife taking care of him in the manner that Gina took care of Matt. There's nothing worse than being able to identify with a situation like that. Whether you can identify or not, whether you've been through a tragedy or not, please read this book. It will change the way you look at your world and the relationships you have in it.

ADDITIONAL RESOURES:
Check out http://www.cancer.org/
http://www.lls.org/ (my favorite)
and Michael and Gina Spehn's foundation at http://www.foundationsforfamilies.org/

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