||Noah's Rainbow: A Father's Emotional Journey from the Death of his Son to the Birth of his Daughter
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IN PRAISE OF
"David Fleming and I met, and do most of our business, in the arena of pro football. Football reflects our society's view of men in general. We are supposed to be strong and tough, and never show one chink of weakness in our emotional armor or one bit of dependence on anything other than ourselves. Noah's Rainbow: A Father's Emotional Journey from the Death of His Son to the Birth of His Daughter is a fantastic book that shows how flawed that thinking is. In trying to find peace in the midst of losing their son, Dave and his wife, Kim, show us that it's all right for men to be vulnerable, to cry, to grieve. And, no matter how we've been trained, that it's all right to depend on other people—even little children—to help us make sense of questions that seem to have no answers. The message of this book is that God is in everything, even the ugly things. We just have to find Him. If you're a parent (especially a dad) who has lost a loved one, this book will help you find that peace. And as a father, it made me even more appreciative of the children God has given us. Thanks Dave and Kim. And thanks Noah."
—Tony Dungy, Head Coach, Indianapolis Colts
"As a father of two daughters, I've always thought the worst thing in the world would be for one of them to die. I still feel that way, but after learning the story of Noah's Rainbow I feel a kinship with two parents whose life was scarred but not ruined by the death of their son. This book will make you cry. It will make you think. And it will make you pause to rejoice, because in the end it winds up being more about hope than death. It's like Tuesdays with Morrie, only for fathers. Somehow, through his tears and pain, David Fleming crafted a marvelous love story that will help heal others who think, erroneously, that they can't go on when a child dies."
—Peter King, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
"Dave and I have spent time together on some high-profile stories in the past few years. Sometimes in my profession, opening up to a writer can be problematic, but working with Dave has always turned out to be enjoyable and productive. Many times his stories have painted a deeper and more colorful picture than what I could see with my own eyes. With Noah's Rainbow, Dave has used that same wit and passion to help others who may confront the same tragedy, so they too can move forward and find comfort."
—Donovan McNabb, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
"This is an unbelievable book about an unbelievable journey. It's written by David Fleming, a senior writer at ESPN
The Magazine who used to work for Sports Illustrated—so you know he knows a thing or two about writing. After
losing his son, Noah, during childbirth, David wrote a book with such incredible insight; a behind the scenes look at what
he's gone through, what parents go through, and all the emotions he experienced on this journey he had to make.
He's a great writer and he's written a great book. But there's no way to do this book justice. Yes, it's about the death
of a human being but it's also about the relationship and survival of a husband and wife. I challenge anyone to sit down on
the couch and read this book and not have to go find the Kleenex at least a couple of times. On one hand as you're reading
it you say 'I can't even imagine what they went through' and then, on the other hand, it's a book filled with such hope.
It just so eloquently puts you behind the scenes. It's like being a voyeur, like going into someone else's life;
being invisible and being able to go in there and feel and experience all that this father has. David Fleming has done
a wonderful job of making his son's life meaningful. If you'll read this book you will understand what I'm saying: it is
fascinating, it's an easy read and it's compelling. Trust me, you just have to read this book."
—John Hancock, WBT Radio
"This isn't the first time in recent history that a sportswriter has taken on how we deal with death. We are reminded of this every time someone shoves a copy of Tuesday's With Morrie into our laps. Yet we see a distinct difference between David Fleming's and Mitch Albom's tales of growth through personal loss. While Tuesday's and it's resolute themes should come wrapped by the hands of a holiday professional. Bows and all. Noah's Rainbow is wrapped as a child would a basketball. It is wrapped earnestly, and imperfectly, yet what's inside is abundantly clear. It is the expression of love, which never comes draped in perfection, because love must be interpreted. Interpretation starts with honesty and Fleming's candor is brutal. Noah's Rainbow is a book both gruesome in its agony, and beautiful in its absolution."
—Chris Sprow, The Chicago Sports Review
"David Fleming wishes, of course, that his first book could have been about sports. (A former NFL writer with
Sports Illustrated magazine, he turns out longer profiles and features now for ESPN The Magazine.)
But after his son Noah died Fleming knew he had little choice. He's a writer. He had a lot to say. If he didn't put it
on paper, he thought, "I'm letting somebody down." Noah's Rainbow is David Fleming's gift to bereaved parents.
It's the account of his family's journey that skips Bible verses and Oprah-like advice and puts the painful story out
there for people to read. Then wince. Then ask themselves how they'd deal with it."
—Ken Garfield, The Charlotte Observer
"Fleming has written a deeply touching narrative of the wrenching experience of his son's death at birth. This memoir account will offer insight to professionals and support to grieving parents, especially grieving fathers who may find in Fleming's reflections a mirror of their own experience. He draws us deeply into his and his wife's grief through the anxious but happy and healing birth of a daughter. As a professional sport's journalist, Fleming brings a fresh and credible voice to the complex journey of grieving and healing."
—The Rev. Paul A Metzler, Director, Public Education & Community Bereavement Services HOSPICE CARE/ Visiting Nurse Service of NY, The Forum, July/August/September 2006 Issue
"Fleming's book is full of home-grown remedies that align well with sound psychological principals for
grievers such as symbolic mastery and constructive reframing. . . . Fleming's personal transformation
toward becoming more selfless and other-centered is truly inspiring. Thus, Noah's Rainbow has
much to recommend it. For death professionals, it offers a detailed case study of perinatal loss which
richly conveys the phenomenological experience of the author. For bereaved parents, especially fathers,
Noah's Rainbow offers comfort through pain shared, wisdom acquired from living through tragedy
and hope for the future."
—Louis A. Gamino, Ph.D., ABPP, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, Scott & White Clinic/Hospital and
Texas A&M College of Medicine, Omega—Journal of Death and DyingVolume 56, Number 3, 2008
ABOUT THE BOOK
On August 10, 2000, David and Kim Fleming lost their son, Noah, during childbirth. After his funeral, a rainbow appeared in the sky over the Flemings' home in North Carolina. The family latched onto that symbol of hope and made it the driving force for their recovery. A year and ten days later, their daughter Ally Hope was born. This book, written in the unique narrative style Fleming crafted during his ten years at ESPN and Sports Illustrated, is a father's memoir of the emotional journey from the death of his son to the birth of his daughter. It's real and raw, but above all—redemptive.
Although it opens with the harrowing tale of losing a child, the book is more about hope than death, more about what was learned than what was lost. For other grieving parents, and fathers in particular, this book will show that, while the death of a child will change your life forever, it doesn't have to ruin it. As it unfolds, Noah's Rainbow also becomes something of a love story, recounting the way the Flemings worked through this tragedy as a team, knowing that how they responded to Noah's death would be their son's only legacy. This book details exactly how they managed to do it: how they survived and grieved for their son, what they learned about themselves, their families, and the world at large, the setbacks and the blessings, the daily gifts of hope, the restoration of their faith, the perpetuation of Noah's spirit, and, ultimately, the peace and strength that sustained them as they prepared for the birth of their second child.
This book is for parents who are grieving the death of a child, and is particularly geared toward fathers. The scope of the book, however, is broad enough to appeal to anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one or who cares about someone who is grieving. It will also serve anyone searching for perspective or hope in life. It's a book a father would feel good about recommending to another father.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and columnist for
ESPN.com's Page 2. Before joining ESPN in 2000, Fleming covered the NFL for six seasons as
a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. During the past ten years he has profiled nearly
every major star in the NFL, and his work helped The Magazine win the 2003 American Society
of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence—the most prestigious
honor in the magazine industry. Fleming is a native of Detroit and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford,
Ohio, where he was captain of the varsity wrestling team. He began his writing career
at the Pulse-Journal in Mason, Ohio, and later worked at The Cincinnati
Post. He and his wife, Kim, live in Davidson, North Carolina, with their daughters,
Ally, 4, and Kate, 1.
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