My guest today has a humbling and inspiring story about love, loss and regrowth. He and his wife, Gina, co- authored the NY Times bestselling book, “The Color of Rain” and co-founded the New Day Foundation for Families (503c) which has raised money to offer financial assistance and emotional support programs to cancer patients and their families. Michael Spehn and family have lived through enough tragedy for 3 lifetimes, and somehow they continue to find ways to turn this heartache into opportunity. Michael and Gina’s story is brutal and uncomfortable, but somehow comforting and encouraging.
Today Michael and I discuss the book “The Color of Rain” and his experiences with death and grief, and how he was able to find the light in the darkness of his experiences. Michael explains that his focus is, and always will be his kids. We discuss dealing with grief, and helping others grieve, how to move forward after a tragedy, and how God is at the center of everything he does. As you'll see from our conversation Michael is a very kind and generous man. I think whatever your relationship with grief and tragedy may be you'll find this discussion is enlightening and thought provoking.
17 days after diagnosis
Connect with other people- don’t try to go it alone
Letting the kids know that they’re not alone
Humility to put your energy into serving others
Providing families with support from people who understand
Keep your eyes and your heart open
A fathers job is to lead by example
Mark Twain- “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
"I want you to make your own mistakes- I just don’t want you to repeat mine!"
We all have our personal 9-11’s
Earthquakes of life
Care for your family- get things done
After tragedy, you can’t “go back to normal”
Keep moving forward
I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I do know what I’m not going to do.
This kids are the singular focus
However you feel, that’s OK
Affirmation is key
Grief is not linear
Everyone needs a neighbor like Ed
Always ask their name
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
Give your kids a backyard
*Producers Note: On November 12th, 2017 Michael's son was diagnosed with brain cancer- Michael and his family thank everyone for their outpouring of prayers. They've placed their hope and strength in Christ. Please keep the prayers coming!*
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For more information click on www.goodmengreatdads.com/podcast/010