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Twenty years after her husband was killed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, Shelly Genovese Calhoun admits that the emotions of that day are still raw as each anniversary draws near. In her book, “Twice Blessed: A Journey of Hope through 9/11,” she shares her painful story of becoming a young widow and single mother to a sixteen-month-old daughter. But she also emphasizes the role her faith played to get her through the darkest days.

“I would not wish upon anyone the pain, heartbreak, and emotional trauma that was thrust upon me when my husband and the father of my little girl died in the twin towers,” says Genovese Calhoun. “Year after year, as the date approaches, my body and mind attempt to go back to that place of fear and terror. I grieve, but not as those who have no hope. My journey of healing since that fateful day has been centered on the freedom from fear that God alone can offer.”

Genovese Calhoun describes how friends and family surrounded her during that time.

“It was very difficult for me to watch life go on as normal, when nothing in my life was normal,” says Genovese Calhoun. “I truly didn’t know how to go on living without him. The body of Christ was so unbelievable to me and prayed me through some unbearable times. 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 Shelly Genovese-Calhoun:
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 senior at Texas A&M University, and son, Cash, is a freshman in high school. For more information, visit

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Date published: 05/08/2021

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