Former model and Miss Texas USA pageant contestant, Shelly Genovese Calhoun, has authored the new book "Twice Blessed: A Journey of Hope through 9/11." Her husband, Steve Genovese, was killed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, leaving Shelly a young widow and single mother to their sixteen-month-old daughter. Her book chronicles their love story as well as the dark days after his death.
"My spiritual gift has always been faith," says Genovese Calhoun. "So even though it seemed humanly impossible for anyone to survive the towers crumbling to the ground, my faith kicked in. I knew that my God was bigger than what I could see. I hid myself in the Lord and I refused to lose faith. But eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would never see my husband again."
Genovese Calhoun describes how her faith kept her going through the worst days.
"It was very difficult for me to watch life go on as normal, when nothing in my life was normal," says Genovese Calhoun. "I thought I would never be happy again. The body of Christ was so unbelievable to me, and prayed me through my darkest days. More than I ever realized, God was always there. He is there to offer comfort in times of trouble and to give us hope when we feel hopeless. I hid myself in the Lord and I refused to lose faith. In return, my faith grew stronger."
Genovese Calhoun, who is now remarried, talks candidly in the book about the emotional turmoil of allowing herself to date other men years after her husband's death. It is something that is difficult for many widows to contemplate.
"I believed Steve was the love of my life," says Genovese Calhoun. "I just knew we would spend the rest of our lives together. I think if you've ever truly loved someone, you want that love back in your life. I was so afraid to allow myself to love again that I almost lost my chance at finding true love and happiness. But loving someone again doesn't mean that you ever have to stop loving the other person. God will give you a big enough heart to love both."
About the Author:
Shelly Genovese Calhoun is an author, speaker, wife and mother. A former fashion model, she represented East Texas in the Miss Texas USA pageant. During her modeling career, she worked for Anne Klein, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, Panhandle Slim, Dillard and many other notable companies. She resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is married to her best friend, Heath, and their two children. Daughter, Jacqueline, is a sophomore at Texas A&M University, and son, Cash, is in middle school and is heavily involved in baseball, soccer and golf.