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Friday, October 7, 2011

Rochester authors write about being widowed

Special to The Oakland Press

A truly amazing story of love found through tragedy, The Color of Rain by Michael and Gina Spehn of Rochester tells the story of two widows finding each other.
Six years ago Gina's husband Matt was diagnosed with cancer and died on Christmas Day 2005.
Six short weeks afterward, Michael's wife Cathy was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died almost three weeks after.
Matt and Cathy had been close friends from a very young age and though their spouses had yet to meet, their families were already intertwined. They both lived in the same area, their children went to the same school and both families had been left with a mark too heavy to bare alone.
Finally meeting at Cathy's visitation service their widows leaned on each other for support as did their children and formed an instant bond. When they first spoke, Michael told Gina, "Lots of people are here tonight. Friends and family ... You and I just met, but you're the only one I know here." Their friendship quickly turned to love.
Their book, beginning as a way to preserve memories for their children, grew into a bigger project once they realized the impact it could have.
"We realized the impact of our story on many people around us. We felt compelled to write beyond the details to share the gifts of God's grace in our losses and the incredible legacy of generosity and faith given us by our spouses," says Gina Spehn.
The Color of Rain tells of the impact of losing a spouse and the grief and loss only another widow can understand. They masterfully tell how the tragedy affected their five children and molded together a family where the children both celebrate the memory of their lost parents and Michael and Gina as their mom and dad.
The Spehn's hope their story will give hope to others and inspire readers to focus on relationships rather then tasks and living on that impact they wanted to do more then just share their story so in memory of their spouses they started The New Day Foundation.
"If I had one hope for this story it would be that people would want to be better in their relationships and have better relationships. Be better husbands, be better wives, better parents and friends and they would really want to look at their relationships and see what they can do to make them better," says Gina Spehn.
The foundation strives to financially and emotionally help other families dealing with terminal cancer. Its mission is to bring hope and understanding to children who lose a parent to cancer. The Spehn's also host a weekly radio program in Detroit called Your Family Matters.
They will be appearing on The Today Show on Monday Oct. 10 and Huckabee later this month to showcase their new book and their unbelievable story. They will also be hosting a book signing at Costco (400 Brown Road, Auburn Hills, MI) on Oct. 15 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


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