When it rains, what colour do you see? Do you see dank, dark grimy raindrops. Or, is your spirit electrified when you look out your window and a lightning bolt pierces the sky? Perhaps you run away from those lightning bolts.
Do you enjoy looking out your window with curiosity at the gathering storm? Dark clouds rolling at you like a wagon train. Anticipation builds. From experience you know full well that the earth, and your dwelling are going to get pounded by little drops of water that sound like millions of bullets falling on your roof.
The occasional burst of thunder might shock you. Or, it might be a distant call to something else.
At the end, if you are lucky, your rainstorm will turn into yellows, blues, reds, and greens. A rainbow. If you grew up around enough Irishmen, you know that there is a pot of gold somewhere at the bottom of it.
In finance, we get wrapped up in numbers. We concentrate on news and charts. Diversion for us is what happened on the athletic field last night, or cruising websites and hope we get them past our firm’s security geeks monitoring traffic on the server. However, sometimes you have to lift your head up and look around. Smell some different air. In the wake of the past 9/11 remembrances, it is only fitting to try and make sense of this crazy world we live in.
Yesterday, I devoured a book. It is titled, The colour of Rain. It’s the tragic and in the end, uplifting, story of Mike and Gina Spehn. Like a tragic thriller, it’s really three separate intertwined stories in one. You should pick it up and read it. I guarantee that it will make you think. It might even change your life and help you find your own personal rainbow.
I am fortunate to be able to appear on their radio show every Saturday morning. Mike and Gina allow me seven minutes to talk about finance and topics of the day. Mike and I grew up together. We met when we were 10 years old.
Mike and Gina Spehn both lost their spouses to cancer. About 3 months apart. Gina lost her spouse over 3 years of antagonizing and gut wrenching struggle. Mike lost his in 16 days. How you deal with a loss like that depends on what colour your rain is. By the way, I am not insinuating any of what they went through was easy.
At the wake of Mike’s wife, there were a number of compelling mini dramas playing out all at the same time. Tragic, funny, death, birth. All the stuff that makes us human and is a part of life is in this book. Mike and his father. Gina, her grief and her past. Mike and Gina. Mike and his grief. A community of faith, and the loss of two members. The Brady Bunch, minus the housekeeper as Gina says! This book is not just about them, it’s about each of us and how we relate to the world and each other. Like the roots of an Aspen tree, we are connected to our past and our future.
The book does a great job of telling heart wrenching individual stories. But the book isn’t simply a couple of intertwined stories that play like a Hollywood drama. There is much more in it for you. At the end of the day, the pages will speak to you. The ink will intermingle itself into your consciousness.
You won’t have to dig deep within yourself to find the message the book wants you to know. The story of Gina and Mike’s struggles and eventual rebirth will read similarly to everyone. However, their story is so powerful you will change how you think about life and how you go about your daily living.
Buy the book here. Mike and Gina will be doing many television appearances in the coming months. Someday, I might be lucky enough to meet Mike’s new wife Gina in person. If you get the chance to go meet her at a book signing, do it. She is truly special. So is Mike.
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