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Beth’s Amazing Journey #5

by ‎02-12-2016 01:04 PM - edited ‎02-12-2016 01:09 PM

After our surprise 60th birthday party for Beth, we decided we should do some traveling. Beth was on her third combination of chemotherapy drugs and she was handling the treatments pretty well, so we figured let’s do some things that we have always wanted to do. The chemo had not stopped the growth of Beth’s tumors, but it was slowing it down.


In March of 2014 we flew to California to visit our very good friends Brian and Debbie. Brian and I worked together at a Christian television station in Chicago in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Brian and I were roommates at the time I met Beth. Beth and Brian became good friends during our early years of dating. 


Brian and Debbie now live in a great neighborhood in San Gabriel, California which is right next door to Pasadena. The house that is featured in the movie, “Father of the Bride” is not far from where they live. Beth and I always loved that movie so Brian and Deb took us there to take pictures. Steve Martin’s character, George Banks, reminded Beth of me since I was a very protective father of our girls (especially when it came to dating.)


We had a vacation to remember. Brian loves to cook so the first night we cooked steaks on the grill with baked potatoes and a salad. We had dinner outside in the beautiful California weather and we stayed out there until late into the evening.  After dinner we had a fire in their fire pit and laughed the night away. The next day we had a wonderful lunch at a cute restaurant in downtown Pasadena. After lunch we drove to the Rose Bowl. I had to have my picture taken there wearing all of my University of Michigan gear.  As weird as it may seem Brian, my best friend, is an Ohio State fan. It’s hard to believe that two guys who cheer for opposite teams in such a fierce college rivalry can still be best friends. I always tell him that I pray that he will one day “see the light” and turn into a Michigan fan, but so far it hasn’t happened.


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Beth did pretty well on this trip, but as many of you know, chemotherapy makes you very tired. Many days we would let her sleep in until 10am or 11am in the morning so that she would be rested up for the day’s adventures. One day Brian and Debbie took us to the Santa Anita Race Track where we watched our first ever horse race. This track is beautiful and there are many stories about all of the famous movie stars who attended races there over the years. We were told that Bing Crosby was a regular.


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We really enjoyed looking at the horses as the jockeys paraded them around before each race. They are such beautiful animals and when they come storming down the straight–a-way it is an impressive sight.


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The next night we went to a jazz restaurant where the musicians performed while we ate dinner. The featured artist that night was awesome. He reminded me of George Benson. It was so nice to see Beth laughing and enjoying every minute of our trip.  When your spouse has stage IV cancer you learn to appreciate every moment you have together and as I’ve said before, you realize the little things really are the big things in life. Great friends, great food and great conversation. You can’t beat that combination.


Our last day in California, Brian and Debbie wanted to take us to a special restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean named Nelson’s at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. It sits atop the bluffs where they used to film many of the scenes for a television program called “Sea Hunt.” The main character’s name was Mike Nelson played by Lloyd Bridges. I loved that show when I was a kid so this was quite a treat. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and you couldn’t beat the setting.

After lunch I asked Brian and Debbie if we could walk through the main building of the resort on our way back to where our car was parked. As we passed a little bar/restaurant Beth said, “There’s your friend John Tesh!” and she pushed me through the door. She was right! John and his wife, Connie Sellecca, were sitting at a table playing Rummy Cube with Connie’s mom. John was very happy to see us and asked us to join them. We had a wonderful time catching up. I worked with John many times over the years on QVC and we have become pretty good friends. 


After doing numerous shows together, QVC actually sent John and me to Gisborne, New Zealand in late December of 1999 where we did a show called the “Dawning of the New Millenium.” We welcomed the first sunrise on the planet from Gisborne which is known as the “City of First Light.” We were on the beach which overlooks the Indian Ocean. John played a grand piano on the beach with several musicians and we had a Maori Indian dance troupe perform. We did a full rehearsal the morning of December 31, 1999 and we experienced the most magnificent sunrise any of us had ever seen. On the morning of January 1, 2000 we woke up to a torrential downpour. John and I huddled in a tent and prayed the Lord would calm the storm so we could go on with the broadcast. A lot of money and time was invested in the show (we had a television production truck shipped over from Australia!) 


By the time we went on the air the rain calmed to a slight drizzle. I had an umbrella for the open of the show but the rain soon stopped altogether and we enjoyed another beautiful sunrise. John and I stayed in hotel rooms located right next to each other so we would go for jogs on the beach in the mornings after our rehearsals. I think we spent 4-5 days together. At the end of our time there I asked John to sign my cd as a momento and he said, “yeah, but I have something else for you.” He went and got his practice keyboard that I had been playing around with and he handed it to me. I still have that keyboard and I hope that John’s amazing talent will somehow rub off on me as I play it.


The first time I worked with John at QVC was around 1993. After we met for our pre-show meeting, I asked him if he would mind saying hello to my wife, Beth, on the phone. Beth always enjoyed him when he hosted “Entertainment Tonight” and she loved his music. He said, “absolutely let’s give her a call!” After they talked for ten minutes I said, “John that’s long enough I know you are busy.” He said, “Go do what you need to do but I’m talking to my new friend, Beth!” He talked to her for over a half hour (as I said Beth was easy to talk to.) Every time I worked with him he always asked me how she was doing. On this day we must have spent forty-five minutes with them and we had some laughs along the way. We didn’t want to intrude on their family time so a few times I would suggest that we leave and leave them alone. John wanted us to stay so he would say, “Do we look busy? Hang out with us a while.” When we finally did leave Debbie said, “How can Connie look so good at our age? It’s just not fair.” I was so happy that Beth finally got a chance to meet John in person.


The night after Beth’s funeral I got a call from John. His voice cracked as he told me how sorry he was to hear about Beth’s passing. He told me she was one of the nicest people he had ever met and that he felt like he had known her all of his life. John is a man of great faith and he said that he knew Beth was in heaven. He also said he was so glad he got the chance to meet her in person.


Beth was equally comfortable talking to Oprah Winfrey, John Tesh, the cashier at the grocery store or an eighty-year-old man we met at a wedding. I’m so lucky that she talked to me on a train riding into Chicago back in September of 1978.  She changed my life for the better and I would give anything to have another cup of coffee with her tomorrow morning. Once she met you she was your friend for life. I’m sure she has made many new friends in heaven and I’m certain the Lord is happy to have her home. We sure miss her in ours!


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I’m so glad you are letting me share about Beth here. As I write these blogs I appreciate more and more the wonderful woman she was and all of the great years I was privileged to spend with her. I am so thankful Beth was seeing heaven in the final few days of her life. She knew where she was going to spend eternity. I’ll write more about that in the coming weeks. Next week, I will write about our trip to Nashville just two months later in May of 2014. 


God bless and thanks for joining me here and on Facebook.

Dan Wheeler


If you missed last week's blog, you can see it here.

on ‎02-12-2016 01:24 PM

Thank you for sharing this. What a wonderful woman Beth was, and she left behind an inspiring legacy. I am sorry for the moments when her loss hurts, but am thankful that you have the peace of knowing that she is waiting for you with our Lord.

May God bless you and your beautiful family.

on ‎02-12-2016 02:03 PM

I love hearing about your sweet wife . You are such an inspiration to us all. You are right...blogging or writing things in any fashion help so much to get feelings and thoughts out there.  All good and healtly things to do I feel.  Many blessings to you and your family from Michigan.


on ‎02-12-2016 02:11 PM

What a lovely posting! Each Friday, I enjoy reading another chapter of your life-journey experience with Beth! What a blessing for you to have so many wonderful memories to share with all of us.  God Bless you....from a diehard Buckeye fan!

on ‎02-12-2016 02:14 PM

I love reading about You and Beth's life together! I do a lot of crying but it is so enjoying all the things you two did and I love how you two met! I lost my husband to lung cancer in 2009 and miss him everyday! We raced horses for a living! Wonderful animals! Miss all the people I met and our horses! Changed my life totally! I be ready for your next one! Take Care!

on ‎02-12-2016 03:16 PM

Thank you for sharing, it's a beautiful story.

on ‎02-12-2016 03:36 PM

Thank you for sharing this latest chapter in your beautiful love story. 

God Bless you and your lovely family Dan.


on ‎02-12-2016 04:09 PM

Such a lovely chapter. Thank you for your inspiration and sharing this beautiful life with us all.


on ‎02-12-2016 04:24 PM
Thank you, Dan, for allowing us to know these personal memories of Beth...I feel as though I know her and she inspires me. God bless!
on ‎02-12-2016 04:37 PM

Thank you, Dan, for sharing with us the story of Beth's journey and the true love of each other and life.  May God bless you, and I know your angel is with you.


on ‎02-12-2016 04:49 PM

Dan, you and Beth had more happy times than some because you chose to. I am so sad when I read your grief, but you will be reunited with your wife later. In the meantime love your memories, and enjoy the remainder of your life. It is great to get to know what a truly womderful person you are. God bless you Dan. You are going to be okay. 

on ‎02-12-2016 05:38 PM
Thank you for sharing with us another beautiful story of your life with your beloved Beth. How blessed you were to have found each other and to have made each day, every moment count. The fact that you remain in gratitude in spite of your grief says a lot about your faith and your endless love for your wife. I know she is with you and pray that these priceless memories continue to bring you much comfort.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
-George Carlin

on ‎02-12-2016 05:54 PM

Thank you Dan so very much for sharing your beautiful stories of your lovely wife, Beth. Please do keep sharing them.

She seemed like such a wonderful woman. You were so blessed to have her in your life.  I will pray for you and your family during these times of sorrow.  God Bless you all. 💕


on ‎02-12-2016 06:38 PM


on ‎02-12-2016 07:20 PM
I have lifted you in prayer for the past several months Dan. I was so happy to see you back on air although I knew your heart was heavy. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, and reading your words reminds me to treasure the times he and I share. May your sweet memories of Beth carry you through the tough times. I must add that I'm with Brian-Go Bucks😊
on ‎02-12-2016 08:22 PM


on ‎02-12-2016 09:05 PM
I enjoy reading your journey... Thank you for sharing..
on ‎02-12-2016 09:13 PM

   Dan this   writing  has been an enlighting  experience for all that read your wonderfully, dedicated blog in honor of your late wife. I  for one look so forward  to reading  and seeing pictures of Beth and the family while  enduring  that awful chemo, and at the same time she has smiles for every exciting adventure   you and she take pride in.. I personally wish you  and your family   all the best   while trying  to deal  with this new life that has been  given  to  you  without your love  of  many years.. 


 I watch  for you  daily  on QVC,  and  as  we  all know  that this is a  daily  stuggle  for  you..  I hope  you  find that peace  that comes  knowing  our love  ones  are now  free  from pain  and having  the best days   in  their  Heavenly  Home. That  rainbow  is shining  and  at the end is  Beth's  beautiful smile,  proud  of  her  man- her love- knowing  she loves you forever...   

on ‎02-13-2016 12:13 AM

Thank you for posting such wonderful memories and sharing your faith and love. 

on ‎02-13-2016 09:27 AM

Dan, you are truly remarkable. I feel the pain as I read your blogs. What  an amazing person Beth was

Such a beautiful love you share.

Thanks for the inspiration you give to others through your journey.   God Bless!!

on ‎02-13-2016 11:34 AM

Thank you for sharing such a sweet story about a wonderful woman.  (((hugs))) to you and your family.

on ‎02-13-2016 06:29 PM

I've enjoyed you continuing story about your lovely wife Beth.  I'm glad to see that you still wear your wedding ring.  It's

a wonderful tribute to your marriage.  My husband passed away 5 years ago after 56 years of marriage.  I can't bear the thought of taking  my rings off.  Hugs to you and your family.

on ‎02-13-2016 07:54 PM

What a wonderful trip for you and your Beth.  She really did touch the lives of so many. You have so many wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing your remarkable love story with us. 

on ‎02-13-2016 09:47 PM
It sounds as if you and Beth had a wonderful trip. I really admire the way that you share with us on fb. It helps others alot.
on ‎02-13-2016 10:19 PM

God bless you! Your humble Spirit and love for Beth shows in your blog . I have a wonderful Christian husband and this blog makes me more thankful for him in my life and realize how important to cherish each day we have together..prayers for you and your family🙏

on ‎02-13-2016 10:46 PM

Thank you for sharing your stories of Beth with us.  Such beautiful memories both of you have made. Not to take away from the meaning of your story, but your friend Brian will never, as you say, "see the light".........once a Buckeye always a Buckeye! 


O - H

on ‎02-14-2016 09:23 AM

Thank you so much for sharing Dan.  You are so right, the little things really are the big things in life.

on ‎02-14-2016 10:13 AM

May God continue to bless you in special ways.  I know this blog has to be difficult to write as well as soul cleansing @ the same time.  I want to thank you for sharing your final time with Beth.  You will be walking down the streets of gold again with her one of these days.  It seems "God still chooses the very best."  We love & admire your spirit & your kindness in keeping us pointed to the ONE Who Can & Will do what is best for us even if it doesn't make sense @ the time to us.

on ‎02-14-2016 12:47 PM

Thank you so much for your memories of your Beth! I wish I could have known her. My sweet mom is in heaven and I certainly bet they are best of friends up there with our Lord! God Bless you Dan. You are showing all of us how to properly grieve the one you love. Share that love with others. Thank you.

on ‎02-14-2016 05:54 PM

I am so drawn in to each and every one of these posts. What a wonderful and inspirational book this would make! I feel like Beth will always be working through you and continuing your connection of faith and amazing love - all in her lovely, gentle way.

on ‎02-15-2016 01:35 PM

Dan, thank you for taking us on your trip to California with Beth.   Every blog amazes me how beautiful you and she both are.  Looking forward to your trip to Nashville... that is only an hour or so away from me.  Love to you Dan, praying for you.  Tutti from Chattanooga.

on ‎02-16-2016 02:50 PM



on ‎02-16-2016 08:30 PM

Thank you for taking me on this lovely Journey of your life with your wife..Im on a journy with my husband now..and this touched my heart..thank you..........Claire

on ‎02-16-2016 09:19 PM

I've learned about how to be a better person from reading your blogs about Beth.  Thanks for sharing.  You sure did appreciate her and that's wonderful.

on ‎02-16-2016 10:59 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your story about great friends and great times with your loved ones. I'm a Pasadena girl so of course this story brought happiness to my heart . Glad you spent a wonderful time with Beth and wonderful friends Smiley Happy xoxo
on ‎02-17-2016 08:34 AM

Thank you Dan for continuing to let us into your life with Beth and allowing us a chance to get to know her.  What a wonderful person she was and you were both so blessed having each other in your life. Seeing the faith and strength you both have has helped to strengthen my faith as well.   Blessings to you and your fmaily. 

on ‎02-17-2016 10:52 AM

Thank you Dan for the beautiful story and pictures. She was a wonderful and caring person I see. It looks like she next met a stranger. You both were a great couple. I know she is looking down from heaven smiling that beautiful smile. Blessings to you and your family. Cant wait to read more about ya'lls life together.

on ‎02-17-2016 10:51 PM

All the best to you, Dan.  I enjoy your remembrances of your wonderful life with Beth.  All the best to your family.  Don't lose sight of all the miracles God has yet to work in your life!  Keep on truckin' and making today and tomorrow as wonderful as yesterday clearly was. 

on ‎02-22-2016 08:00 PM
More nice memories you made for you and Beth on this trip.