The Color of Rain: How Two Families Found Faith, Hope, and Love in the Midst of Tragedy
Told from alternating points of view, a grieving widow and widower tell their poignant and heartbreaking stories of losing their spouses to devastating illnesses. What makes this book so unique is that the two individuals who were lost passed away within six weeks of each other and were childhood friends. In an orchestration only God could create, now-married couple Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn share deeply of their journey through the depths of despair at losing their respective youthful marriage partners, only to discover God’s bigger hand of provision leading them each step of the way (and toward each other).
"Heartwrenching yet hopeful, this unlikely couple’s tale will surely impact others who have lost the loves of their lives and will give a fresh, hopeful perspective on facing the future hand in hand with a God who cares deeply."
Gina opens the book by sharing the events that transpired in her world on September 11, 2001. She and her husband, Matt, celebrated her birthday in spite of the horror the United States faced on that tragic day. Little did Gina realize that her own private world was about to be rocked in similar style. Soon after enjoying a trip out West in honor of the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, Matt discovered a lump in his thigh. The first week after their milestone anniversary, he was diagnosed with the type of cancer other family members had fought and lost the battle to: leiomyosarcoma. So began the Kells’ three-year battle with this deadly disease.
Moving back and forth between the Kells’ and the Spehns’ stories, Michael begins his family’s history and how his wife, Cathy, was suddenly faced with a brain tumor that took her life within a few short weeks. Catapulted into action by her utterly agonizing suffering and death, Michael now enters the ranks of the bereaved just as Gina and her children had only weeks previously.
Upon hearing the news of Cathy’s death, Gina ranted and raged against God, knowing full well what Michael and his three kids would soon face. And surprisingly, one of the last places where one would expect inner healing to begin was when Gina and Michael met at Cathy’s funeral. The two sat together, talking quietly alone as visitors watched and made note of their connection. It wasn’t long before they shared their past histories of their respective marriages with one another and introduced their children. Starting with emails and brief phone calls, they began to rebuild their lives, making a conscious effort to intersect with each other. After some time passed, Gina and Michael made their relationship public and moved toward marriage --- something neither thought would ever happen. But it did.
The Spehns’ story works so well because it is a no-holds-barred account of losing someone you love, and neither author minces words on the depth of suffering that enters the human heart in such situations. Heartwrenching yet hopeful, this unlikely couple’s tale will surely impact others who have lost the loves of their lives and will give a fresh, hopeful perspective on facing the future hand in hand with a God who cares deeply.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on January 18, 2012