A Hurricane of Love with Dan Wheeler (Season 5, Ep. 42 )

A Hurricane of Love with Dan Wheeler (Season 5, Ep. 42 )

Dan Wheeler is known for his 29 years spent hosting and selling on the popular shopping network QVC. Dan is an avid baseball fan who has a big heart for serving God and loving others. When his wife Beth was diagnosed with cancer, Dan learned priorities had to change. He had to learn to love and serve in the present.

 Listen as Dan shares the story of his wife Beth, their love for one another and how through tragedy he never ceased praying. Be encouraged with these divine appointed moments from his book, A Hurricane of Love: My Journey with Beth Wheeler.

39 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Dan Wheeler

 

Dan Wheeler is known for his 29 years spent hosting and selling on the popular shopping network QVC. Dan is an avid baseball fan who has a big heart for serving God and loving others. When his wife Beth was diagnosed with cancer, Dan learned priorities had to change. He had to learn to love and serve in the present.

 

Listen as Dan shares the story of his wife Beth, their love for one another and how through tragedy he never ceased praying. Be encouraged with these divine appointed moments from his book, A Hurricane of Love: My Journey with Beth Wheeler.

 

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Dan Wheeler, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: Andy Stanley wrote in his book called Visioneering that vision equals inspiration plus conviction, plus action and determination, plus completion. I like that notion, Andy. We don't have vision if we can't complete anything. I've been too long as a pastor to know a lot of people have vision to start projects. I just didn't have enough of around to finish them. I've learned that vision comes from heartbreak, that deep dissatisfaction with anything leads to deep thinking about what could be. When I see something that hurts me, I start to think about a way to fix it and to help and to contribute. Vision was implied when Jesus asked fishermen if they'd like to follow Him and learn to fish for men. You know what struck me about that story continues to every time I read it is it was so instantaneous. I learned something about them that when they drop their fishing nets and gear, that's big for a fisherman to drop his stuff and just run off and leave it. They had to have some inner hunger to do more to go somewhere. They had to say that thing in their life like, is this all there is? Am I just put on earth to fish? Is that who I am? Maybe I could at least change my zip code. I hope that when all is said and done in my life that I've done that, at least changed my backyard, the people around me, the people that come into my life. I wonder how difficult it must be to live life without a vision for what could be. My guest today knows a lot about the vision that his wife had. She died in 2015, and his book is the hurricane of love. It describes how Beth left a path of love as she powered through her life. You may remember Dan Wheeler from his 29 years on QVC. If you've ever turned your TV set on, at least back in the old days when there only a few channels, you saw QVC early in the proliferation of stations. We're going to get to know Dan in administrator day and learn a whole lot more about special wife and Hurricane of Love. So, Dan welcome to our podcast. I have already gotten to know you a little bit and sections of your book. I just fell in love with you. And I said, we’re going to talk to Dan; he's got something to say. I'm wowed right off the bat that anybody could stay 29 years at QVC. I’d love to hear more about that experience. How did you make it 29 years?

 

Dan Wheeler: It was a great company and they were so good to me and especially through my wife's illness. She was sick for three years battling stage four cancer and they were great. My boss would check in with me every week and say how are you doing. There were times that last summer when she was not doing really well and I'd say she's having a rough time, but I'm OK. I can come in and do my shifts. He'd say, no, I've already taken you off the schedule. Your fellow hosts want to help you there glad to fill in for you. I was blessed to work for that company for 29 years.

 

Video Interviews with Dan Wheeler

·         Cornerstone Television Network

·         CTNOnline

·         On QVC

 

 

Dr. Steve Greene: I also know a lot about them. I know that you don't stay long there if you're not really, really good. What gift did God give you to be such an excellent host?

 

Dan Wheeler: I've always felt like I just was good at being me. I mean I wasn't good at trying to be somebody else. On live TV you can't try to be someone else. God only made one you and I learned early when I would make a mistake or when I would drop something, I would point it out and I would laugh at myself. That sense of being really connected with the audience and they would write me. I remember one day early in my career, I was trying to pour some pasta from a nonstick pan on to a plate. And I'm not very good in the kitchen. I totally missed the plate. It went over the front of the desk and on to the studio floor. The director was like, don't show it. Don't show it. I was like, wait, come here. Bring the camera and look at this liquid. I said, this is a mess. This is how I cook. My kitchen looks like this. And you know, I got so many emails and so many letters saying we love you, that you were real. Now we trust you. I learned early on that was a trust builder. I used to train a lot of the new hosts and a lot of the new guests and I'd say look, you're going to make mistakes, but it's how you handle it. If you handle it right, those are your greatest moments and your greatest opportunities to build trust with the audience.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The most important question I have here is how many how much of that product that you sell when you spilled the pasta?

 

Dan Wheeler: I don't know that particular product but I know during the course of my career, I guess the number was close to $4 billion worth of merchandise.

 

·         Watch the ceremony of Dan Wheeler’s retirement from QVC

 

Dr. Steve Greene: So, the $4 billion man and the voice that goes behind it.

 

Dan Wheeler: Well, it was God, and He's good. He blessed my wife and my family with that. I just want to make sure I'm giving back and doing what I can to serve Him.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The other thing I know is that when you're dealing with the sickness of a loved one, and the journey she was going through, that you still had to go on the air for those three years, at least at times when you weren't feeling it. You weren't feeling like going on and being this high-energy guy that could tell great stories. How did God see you through that?

 

Dan Wheeler: There were there were times, so many times when I wished I had a job in a cubicle or an office where I could close the door and hide. But unfortunately, I had to do my job in front of America on live TV every night. I would pray so hard and I developed a technique.  This may sound a little odd, but it's in my book, Hurricane of Love. I wrote that I would go to my mailbox before my show and I would open it and literally feel like I was putting my problems in the mailbox. I would say, I'll pick you up after the show, but I have to go do a show. I would close the door and that somehow helped me to compartmentalize.

 

What They’re Saying About Hurricane of Love

·         “This book is a great tribute to Beth Wheeler who I knew and loved for 27 years. Her spirit and love for Jesus radiated in her constant smile, her giggle, and in the way she loved her family and friends. I praised God He allowed us to share such a wonderful friendship.” – Mary Beth Roe, QVC Host

·         Hurricane of Love is a blessing. More importantly, this book is an encouragement and an invitation to live life in the moment. I know, as part of Beth and Dan’s purpose-drive journey, that the story of her battle and their deep love will bless you and help you, as it has me, persevere through any adversity. Read this book!” – John Tesh, composer, musician, nationally-syndicated radio-TV host

·         “I have been a fan of Dan Wheeler’s work on TV for a long time. But I must say that his work as an author is a gift to all of us. Hurricane of Love is a heartfelt and touching tribute to his wife, Beth. This is a ‘must read’ book of hope and inspiration.” – Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice

such a wonderful friendship.”

 

Dr. Steve Greene: That's really good, and that's a life skill that many of us can compartmentalize. I could tell my employees all the time when they are having bad days to go back out the door and shake it off and walk back in and don't come in with it. You have to think that way. It's hard. Some of the things we deal with in life are just hard to forget at the front door. That's what the Lord wants us to do that.

 

Dan Wheeler: There was a night or two, one night in particular that I wrote about, when just literally seconds before one of the other hosts was throwing to me and the tele light was going to come on when both of my arms went numb. The studio started spinning on me. I looked up and I saw the lights going by. I just cried out, Dear Lord, I need to do the show, you've got to help me Somehow things would calm and when that light came on, I was ready. Somehow through it all, and that was a tough three years, God allowed me to keep my numbers up high. There were times when I wasn't able to prepare like I always did. I always felt like I was a hard worker and what I didn't have a talent I would make up for in hard work. So, I usually was in four hours before a show, prepping the products, looking up things on the computer, meeting with my guests, planning the demonstrations. I know that last summer and fall before Beth passed that I was leaning on God's arms and he carried me. It's all about prep. You know, you got to know what you're talking about.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: I also know that you've done a wheelbarrow full of sports interviews with celebrities and athletes. Give us a little bit of insight to that point of your life.

 

Dan Wheeler: Well, it was interesting because in the 1990s, sports memorabilia became very big. Guys like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams, all the greats were offering their autographed merchandise at reasonable prices. It was something that all of America could afford. QVC has to be very general, very wide. It has to be something for the vast majority of people. Back in the day, you could get a Mickey Mantle autograph for $39. These guys we're the greatest of all time. But later these sports agents, the off-field agents, got involved and they charged a ton for their autographs, and they priced the average guy out. I had the opportunity to … one day I had the longest and the final interview with Joe DiMaggio, and what an honor. I had read everything about Joe that I could. I thought how many guys get to interview Joe DiMaggio. He was such a private person. I was going to do three hours with him on the air. So, I lived at the library. I looked up everything I could learn, and I knew not to ask him about Marilyn Monroe or his son, Joe Jr. He had a very tough relationship with his son. Joe Junior wasn't a good athlete and Joe had had him with Dorothy Arnold, an actress. So, there was no love father-son relationship really. I knew not to ask Joe about those areas. So, he wanted to meet me at one in the afternoon and the show wasn't until seven at night.  thought it would be a 10-minute interview. I thought he’d tell me what was inbounds and what was out of bounds. So, I walked into the green room after he arrived. And I said, Mr. DiMaggio, what an honor. He said I could call him Joe. And he said, let's talk baseball. So, we sat and talked baseball for six hours straight. He never told me what to ask him or whatnot. We went out on the air and we did a three-hour show. Afterwards he wanted to talk to me for another hour, and a week later a dozen autographed Joe DiMaggio baseball showed up at my house with a nice thank you note from him. Joe was an interesting guy. He was really upset about the ballplayers today making the money that they did. He felt like he was the greatest. He only signed for 100,000 on one contract. He was pretty miserable. And when he died, his right-hand man, his attorney immediately, told the nurse to get the World Series ring off of his finger. It was from his rookie year. My moral of the story there about Joe was give and it shall be given to you. If you don't give, they're going to be taking what you've got off your dead body. Joe never really learned the joy of giving.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Did he lose that ring?

 

Dan Wheeler: Yeah, his attorney said that Joe had promised that to him. Joe had like nine or 10 World Series rings, but that's the only one he wore and his attorney knew that would be worth money. And then I got to work with Mickey Mantle a lot. The first time I worked with him, a little boy asked me, well, actually, his dad asked me if I could ask Mickey to sign the baseball for him. You know this little boy had the Yankees hat on and the dad was like, you know we love Mickey, could you ask him. When I asked Mickey if he would sign it, he went off on me. Every curse word I could hear. I went back and I said, guys, he wishes he could sign but he can't. The memorabilia company is here, but he really feels bad. So, I covered for him. Well, years later, after he went through Betty Ford, he came to QVC and he wanted to talk to me privately. We went into a makeup room and close the door and he turned around. He had tears pouring down his face. I said Mickey, what's wrong? He said, I owe you a big apology. I remember when you asked me to sign that boy’s baseball. I said, you remember? That was 10 years ago. He goes you know why I hated signing autographs, Dan? I said why? He said, I had no self-esteem. I was an alcoholic and I knew it. Big deal, I could hit a baseball. And you know, Steve, I'm sitting there thinking this is surreal. I'm with the greatest hero on the greatest sports team in history and he's telling me he has no self-esteem. I just think if the world knew that these people, who we think have it all really have nothing without Jesus. I'll tell you that's what made saying goodbye to my wife so hard. She was my hero. I interviewed every childhood hero I ever had, every celebrity, and I'll tell you, I’d take five minutes with my wife any day.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, that's a good transition. I wanted our audience to catch this part of you, to hear the stories and to know you as a man because I think it makes Beth more real to us as we all will listen to your story of loss. Now we know you better and understand some of your life and your career.

 

So, your life changed when you had that diagnosis of cancer What did it do to you? What happened?

 

Dan Wheeler: It instantly turned our priorities upside down but ultimately right side up. From the moment we got that news, I went into a constant state of prayer. You read about pray without ceasing, well I was praying without ceasing in my sleep, all the time praying that God would heal her. I believed with everything I had that God was going heal her right up until her last breath. I believed she was going to jump out of bed even after she'd stopped all treatment. I believed, but God chose her chose to ultimately heal her. I remember thinking at the time after she died thinking all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I'd say really, God? Stage four cancer can work together for good? But three years down the road now, I see what God has done in my life through the book and through a ministry I started called Fearless Faith. I retired from QVC at the end of 2017. They were so good to me. They gave me a huge send off, and they really understood. I had lunch with the CEO and he said, Why are you leaving? And I said, Mike, God has called me to a new work. I believe that this is the Lord telling me what to do. And he said, well then, we're behind you and we support you all the way and they were great. But God has reached a lot of people with my book. A lot of people, hundreds of people have written me on Facebook and said that my chapter on grief has helped them to get unstuck. I've heard from people who have been stuck in their grief for 5-10 years. They said after their spouse died, they just can't go on. I just don't feel that's what God wants. I had a counselor who really snapped me out of my depression. It was about four months after she passed and I was literally dragging myself out of bed and dragging myself into work and trying to find joy. She said, Dan, Beth is not judging you. She's in heaven with Jesus. And they're both applauding you. They are cheering you on. She's saying finish your race. And boy, did that do it. I was like, I can do this for Beth and I can do it for God. I know where she is. Looking back now, I see that God had a purpose in everything. Not because of anything I've done, but he's using what I'm trying to do. I think he wants us all to use what's in our hand, and what was in my hand was the ability to speak and some persuasive skills. I told the Lord I'll go speak anytime, anyplace that you call me to go. I'm receiving and feeling so much joy and fulfillment from it. It's all because of Beth.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, that's great. Now I can't let you go. I want to let you finish because you're under the anointing that's so powerful right now, I can hear it. But what I what I wanted to ask you when you started speaking about grief, I could just feel people reaching out through this microphone to this show saying, tell me more. How did you get to teach them to grieve? Talk about that part in the book that would help us.

 

Dan Wheeler: First of all, I'd like to say to those of us who know someone is going through a hard time, who's facing an illness or caring for someone who has an illness, so many people are afraid to go to those people because they say that don't know what to say. And I say, don't worry about what you say, just show up. It's called the Ministry of Presence. Just be there for them. Just hug them, take something to eat. You can always use food because you're so busy caring for that your loved one or your loved one maybe is too sick to prepare anything. We need to reach out to those people. Yes, that first year is brutal. I've written a few articles about it based on my book that my wife passed away on October 30 where the first holiday was three weeks later, Thanksgiving, and we had it at my daughter’s house, and they left an empty place setting and an empty chair in honor of Beth. I could hardly look at it. I just wanted to eat and get out of there. Then I didn't want to put up a Christmas tree. I didn't want to hear Christmas music. Everything is so hard. It's so sad. Every song reminded me of her. I remember when my daughters came over and said, we're putting up a tree and every ornament had a memory. There's one ornament that had Beth and my picture on it when we were young. I just broke down. I couldn't do it. Then just before Christmas was our anniversary and my one daughter said, Dad, let's do something. I don't want you sitting home. So, we went up to New York and we went and saw the Lion King. My grandkids loved that. But even then, everywhere I looked, I was like, Beth should be here. Where is she? And then you have, Christmas and New Years and her birthday was February 3. It was like waves that just kept hitting me. I thought it's never going to end. But, it was around February when that counselor really helped me and I went to some grief counseling. As spring came, and I realized that God wasn't done with me … Beth’s race was done but I still had a lot of work to do. I started to get more hopeful. I started to handle those days a little bit better. I will tell you that three years later … February 3 was my wife's birthday … so just a couple weeks ago, after church, my whole family went out to lunch, my daughters, my grandkids, and we just talked about Beth. And you know what? We're at the point now we laugh and we smile and we remember her family. So, I would say to those people, if you're grieving right now, if you're listening to this, hold on. God is with you. He said He's near and close to the brokenhearted and He won't leave you. On those days, you will learn to celebrate their life. I now celebrate my wife on all of those days, holidays, her birthday. And you know what? I feel closer to her on those days now.

 

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Dan Wheeler, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Connect with Dan

·         Hurricaneoflove.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

 

email: greenelines@charismamedia.com

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Dan Wheeler

 

Dan Wheeler is known for his 29 years spent hosting and selling on the popular shopping network QVC. Dan is an avid baseball fan who has a big heart for serving God and loving others. When his wife Beth was diagnosed with cancer, Dan learned priorities had to change. He had to learn to love and serve in the present.

 

Listen as Dan shares the story of his wife Beth, their love for one another and how through tragedy he never ceased praying. Be encouraged with these divine appointed moments from his book, A Hurricane of Love: My Journey with Beth Wheeler.

 

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Dan Wheeler, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: Andy Stanley wrote in his book called Visioneering that vision equals inspiration plus conviction, plus action and determination, plus completion. I like that notion, Andy. We don't have vision if we can't complete anything. I've been too long as a pastor to know a lot of people have vision to start projects. I just didn't have enough of around to finish them. I've learned that vision comes from heartbreak, that deep dissatisfaction with anything leads to deep thinking about what could be. When I see something that hurts me, I start to think about a way to fix it and to help and to contribute. Vision was implied when Jesus asked fishermen if they'd like to follow Him and learn to fish for men. You know what struck me about that story continues to every time I read it is it was so instantaneous. I learned something about them that when they drop their fishing nets and gear, that's big for a fisherman to drop his stuff and just run off and leave it. They had to have some inner hunger to do more to go somewhere. They had to say that thing in their life like, is this all there is? Am I just put on earth to fish? Is that who I am? Maybe I could at least change my zip code. I hope that when all is said and done in my life that I've done that, at least changed my backyard, the people around me, the people that come into my life. I wonder how difficult it must be to live life without a vision for what could be. My guest today knows a lot about the vision that his wife had. She died in 2015, and his book is the hurricane of love. It describes how Beth left a path of love as she powered through her life. You may remember Dan Wheeler from his 29 years on QVC. If you've ever turned your TV set on, at least back in the old days when there only a few channels, you saw QVC early in the proliferation of stations. We're going to get to know Dan in administrator day and learn a whole lot more about special wife and Hurricane of Love. So, Dan welcome to our podcast. I have already gotten to know you a little bit and sections of your book. I just fell in love with you. And I said, we’re going to talk to Dan; he's got something to say. I'm wowed right off the bat that anybody could stay 29 years at QVC. I’d love to hear more about that experience. How did you make it 29 years?

 

Dan Wheeler: It was a great company and they were so good to me and especially through my wife's illness. She was sick for three years battling stage four cancer and they were great. My boss would check in with me every week and say how are you doing. There were times that last summer when she was not doing really well and I'd say she's having a rough time, but I'm OK. I can come in and do my shifts. He'd say, no, I've already taken you off the schedule. Your fellow hosts want to help you there glad to fill in for you. I was blessed to work for that company for 29 years.

 

Video Interviews with Dan Wheeler

·         Cornerstone Television Network

·         CTNOnline

·         On QVC

 

 

Dr. Steve Greene: I also know a lot about them. I know that you don't stay long there if you're not really, really good. What gift did God give you to be such an excellent host?

 

Dan Wheeler: I've always felt like I just was good at being me. I mean I wasn't good at trying to be somebody else. On live TV you can't try to be someone else. God only made one you and I learned early when I would make a mistake or when I would drop something, I would point it out and I would laugh at myself. That sense of being really connected with the audience and they would write me. I remember one day early in my career, I was trying to pour some pasta from a nonstick pan on to a plate. And I'm not very good in the kitchen. I totally missed the plate. It went over the front of the desk and on to the studio floor. The director was like, don't show it. Don't show it. I was like, wait, come here. Bring the camera and look at this liquid. I said, this is a mess. This is how I cook. My kitchen looks like this. And you know, I got so many emails and so many letters saying we love you, that you were real. Now we trust you. I learned early on that was a trust builder. I used to train a lot of the new hosts and a lot of the new guests and I'd say look, you're going to make mistakes, but it's how you handle it. If you handle it right, those are your greatest moments and your greatest opportunities to build trust with the audience.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The most important question I have here is how many how much of that product that you sell when you spilled the pasta?

 

Dan Wheeler: I don't know that particular product but I know during the course of my career, I guess the number was close to $4 billion worth of merchandise.

 

·         Watch the ceremony of Dan Wheeler’s retirement from QVC

 

Dr. Steve Greene: So, the $4 billion man and the voice that goes behind it.

 

Dan Wheeler: Well, it was God, and He's good. He blessed my wife and my family with that. I just want to make sure I'm giving back and doing what I can to serve Him.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The other thing I know is that when you're dealing with the sickness of a loved one, and the journey she was going through, that you still had to go on the air for those three years, at least at times when you weren't feeling it. You weren't feeling like going on and being this high-energy guy that could tell great stories. How did God see you through that?

 

Dan Wheeler: There were there were times, so many times when I wished I had a job in a cubicle or an office where I could close the door and hide. But unfortunately, I had to do my job in front of America on live TV every night. I would pray so hard and I developed a technique.  This may sound a little odd, but it's in my book, Hurricane of Love. I wrote that I would go to my mailbox before my show and I would open it and literally feel like I was putting my problems in the mailbox. I would say, I'll pick you up after the show, but I have to go do a show. I would close the door and that somehow helped me to compartmentalize.

 

What They’re Saying About Hurricane of Love

·         “This book is a great tribute to Beth Wheeler who I knew and loved for 27 years. Her spirit and love for Jesus radiated in her constant smile, her giggle, and in the way she loved her family and friends. I praised God He allowed us to share such a wonderful friendship.” – Mary Beth Roe, QVC Host

·         Hurricane of Love is a blessing. More importantly, this book is an encouragement and an invitation to live life in the moment. I know, as part of Beth and Dan’s purpose-drive journey, that the story of her battle and their deep love will bless you and help you, as it has me, persevere through any adversity. Read this book!” – John Tesh, composer, musician, nationally-syndicated radio-TV host

·         “I have been a fan of Dan Wheeler’s work on TV for a long time. But I must say that his work as an author is a gift to all of us. Hurricane of Love is a heartfelt and touching tribute to his wife, Beth. This is a ‘must read’ book of hope and inspiration.” – Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice

such a wonderful friendship.”

 

Dr. Steve Greene: That's really good, and that's a life skill that many of us can compartmentalize. I could tell my employees all the time when they are having bad days to go back out the door and shake it off and walk back in and don't come in with it. You have to think that way. It's hard. Some of the things we deal with in life are just hard to forget at the front door. That's what the Lord wants us to do that.

 

Dan Wheeler: There was a night or two, one night in particular that I wrote about, when just literally seconds before one of the other hosts was throwing to me and the tele light was going to come on when both of my arms went numb. The studio started spinning on me. I looked up and I saw the lights going by. I just cried out, Dear Lord, I need to do the show, you've got to help me Somehow things would calm and when that light came on, I was ready. Somehow through it all, and that was a tough three years, God allowed me to keep my numbers up high. There were times when I wasn't able to prepare like I always did. I always felt like I was a hard worker and what I didn't have a talent I would make up for in hard work. So, I usually was in four hours before a show, prepping the products, looking up things on the computer, meeting with my guests, planning the demonstrations. I know that last summer and fall before Beth passed that I was leaning on God's arms and he carried me. It's all about prep. You know, you got to know what you're talking about.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: I also know that you've done a wheelbarrow full of sports interviews with celebrities and athletes. Give us a little bit of insight to that point of your life.

 

Dan Wheeler: Well, it was interesting because in the 1990s, sports memorabilia became very big. Guys like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams, all the greats were offering their autographed merchandise at reasonable prices. It was something that all of America could afford. QVC has to be very general, very wide. It has to be something for the vast majority of people. Back in the day, you could get a Mickey Mantle autograph for $39. These guys we're the greatest of all time. But later these sports agents, the off-field agents, got involved and they charged a ton for their autographs, and they priced the average guy out. I had the opportunity to … one day I had the longest and the final interview with Joe DiMaggio, and what an honor. I had read everything about Joe that I could. I thought how many guys get to interview Joe DiMaggio. He was such a private person. I was going to do three hours with him on the air. So, I lived at the library. I looked up everything I could learn, and I knew not to ask him about Marilyn Monroe or his son, Joe Jr. He had a very tough relationship with his son. Joe Junior wasn't a good athlete and Joe had had him with Dorothy Arnold, an actress. So, there was no love father-son relationship really. I knew not to ask Joe about those areas. So, he wanted to meet me at one in the afternoon and the show wasn't until seven at night.  thought it would be a 10-minute interview. I thought he’d tell me what was inbounds and what was out of bounds. So, I walked into the green room after he arrived. And I said, Mr. DiMaggio, what an honor. He said I could call him Joe. And he said, let's talk baseball. So, we sat and talked baseball for six hours straight. He never told me what to ask him or whatnot. We went out on the air and we did a three-hour show. Afterwards he wanted to talk to me for another hour, and a week later a dozen autographed Joe DiMaggio baseball showed up at my house with a nice thank you note from him. Joe was an interesting guy. He was really upset about the ballplayers today making the money that they did. He felt like he was the greatest. He only signed for 100,000 on one contract. He was pretty miserable. And when he died, his right-hand man, his attorney immediately, told the nurse to get the World Series ring off of his finger. It was from his rookie year. My moral of the story there about Joe was give and it shall be given to you. If you don't give, they're going to be taking what you've got off your dead body. Joe never really learned the joy of giving.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Did he lose that ring?

 

Dan Wheeler: Yeah, his attorney said that Joe had promised that to him. Joe had like nine or 10 World Series rings, but that's the only one he wore and his attorney knew that would be worth money. And then I got to work with Mickey Mantle a lot. The first time I worked with him, a little boy asked me, well, actually, his dad asked me if I could ask Mickey to sign the baseball for him. You know this little boy had the Yankees hat on and the dad was like, you know we love Mickey, could you ask him. When I asked Mickey if he would sign it, he went off on me. Every curse word I could hear. I went back and I said, guys, he wishes he could sign but he can't. The memorabilia company is here, but he really feels bad. So, I covered for him. Well, years later, after he went through Betty Ford, he came to QVC and he wanted to talk to me privately. We went into a makeup room and close the door and he turned around. He had tears pouring down his face. I said Mickey, what's wrong? He said, I owe you a big apology. I remember when you asked me to sign that boy’s baseball. I said, you remember? That was 10 years ago. He goes you know why I hated signing autographs, Dan? I said why? He said, I had no self-esteem. I was an alcoholic and I knew it. Big deal, I could hit a baseball. And you know, Steve, I'm sitting there thinking this is surreal. I'm with the greatest hero on the greatest sports team in history and he's telling me he has no self-esteem. I just think if the world knew that these people, who we think have it all really have nothing without Jesus. I'll tell you that's what made saying goodbye to my wife so hard. She was my hero. I interviewed every childhood hero I ever had, every celebrity, and I'll tell you, I’d take five minutes with my wife any day.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, that's a good transition. I wanted our audience to catch this part of you, to hear the stories and to know you as a man because I think it makes Beth more real to us as we all will listen to your story of loss. Now we know you better and understand some of your life and your career.

 

So, your life changed when you had that diagnosis of cancer What did it do to you? What happened?

 

Dan Wheeler: It instantly turned our priorities upside down but ultimately right side up. From the moment we got that news, I went into a constant state of prayer. You read about pray without ceasing, well I was praying without ceasing in my sleep, all the time praying that God would heal her. I believed with everything I had that God was going heal her right up until her last breath. I believed she was going to jump out of bed even after she'd stopped all treatment. I believed, but God chose her chose to ultimately heal her. I remember thinking at the time after she died thinking all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I'd say really, God? Stage four cancer can work together for good? But three years down the road now, I see what God has done in my life through the book and through a ministry I started called Fearless Faith. I retired from QVC at the end of 2017. They were so good to me. They gave me a huge send off, and they really understood. I had lunch with the CEO and he said, Why are you leaving? And I said, Mike, God has called me to a new work. I believe that this is the Lord telling me what to do. And he said, well then, we're behind you and we support you all the way and they were great. But God has reached a lot of people with my book. A lot of people, hundreds of people have written me on Facebook and said that my chapter on grief has helped them to get unstuck. I've heard from people who have been stuck in their grief for 5-10 years. They said after their spouse died, they just can't go on. I just don't feel that's what God wants. I had a counselor who really snapped me out of my depression. It was about four months after she passed and I was literally dragging myself out of bed and dragging myself into work and trying to find joy. She said, Dan, Beth is not judging you. She's in heaven with Jesus. And they're both applauding you. They are cheering you on. She's saying finish your race. And boy, did that do it. I was like, I can do this for Beth and I can do it for God. I know where she is. Looking back now, I see that God had a purpose in everything. Not because of anything I've done, but he's using what I'm trying to do. I think he wants us all to use what's in our hand, and what was in my hand was the ability to speak and some persuasive skills. I told the Lord I'll go speak anytime, anyplace that you call me to go. I'm receiving and feeling so much joy and fulfillment from it. It's all because of Beth.

 

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, that's great. Now I can't let you go. I want to let you finish because you're under the anointing that's so powerful right now, I can hear it. But what I what I wanted to ask you when you started speaking about grief, I could just feel people reaching out through this microphone to this show saying, tell me more. How did you get to teach them to grieve? Talk about that part in the book that would help us.

 

Dan Wheeler: First of all, I'd like to say to those of us who know someone is going through a hard time, who's facing an illness or caring for someone who has an illness, so many people are afraid to go to those people because they say that don't know what to say. And I say, don't worry about what you say, just show up. It's called the Ministry of Presence. Just be there for them. Just hug them, take something to eat. You can always use food because you're so busy caring for that your loved one or your loved one maybe is too sick to prepare anything. We need to reach out to those people. Yes, that first year is brutal. I've written a few articles about it based on my book that my wife passed away on October 30 where the first holiday was three weeks later, Thanksgiving, and we had it at my daughter’s house, and they left an empty place setting and an empty chair in honor of Beth. I could hardly look at it. I just wanted to eat and get out of there. Then I didn't want to put up a Christmas tree. I didn't want to hear Christmas music. Everything is so hard. It's so sad. Every song reminded me of her. I remember when my daughters came over and said, we're putting up a tree and every ornament had a memory. There's one ornament that had Beth and my picture on it when we were young. I just broke down. I couldn't do it. Then just before Christmas was our anniversary and my one daughter said, Dad, let's do something. I don't want you sitting home. So, we went up to New York and we went and saw the Lion King. My grandkids loved that. But even then, everywhere I looked, I was like, Beth should be here. Where is she? And then you have, Christmas and New Years and her birthday was February 3. It was like waves that just kept hitting me. I thought it's never going to end. But, it was around February when that counselor really helped me and I went to some grief counseling. As spring came, and I realized that God wasn't done with me … Beth’s race was done but I still had a lot of work to do. I started to get more hopeful. I started to handle those days a little bit better. I will tell you that three years later … February 3 was my wife's birthday … so just a couple weeks ago, after church, my whole family went out to lunch, my daughters, my grandkids, and we just talked about Beth. And you know what? We're at the point now we laugh and we smile and we remember her family. So, I would say to those people, if you're grieving right now, if you're listening to this, hold on. God is with you. He said He's near and close to the brokenhearted and He won't leave you. On those days, you will learn to celebrate their life. I now celebrate my wife on all of those days, holidays, her birthday. And you know what? I feel closer to her on those days now.

 

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Dan Wheeler, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

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Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

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email: greenelines@charismamedia.com

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A Hurricane of Love with Dan Wheeler (Season 5, Ep. 42 )