Episode 19: Long Distance Letters with Vicki and Wynne

I often get a little nervous/excited before recording a podcast conversation. It’s a chance to meet someone new, have a deep and intentional conversation, and I value that time. This week’s podcast though is a little different – it’s a deep conversation that I had with Vicki about our beloved fathers and the letters we’ve written to them after their deaths. Because the conversation was between Vicki and me, I wasn’t as nervous to record it but I’m nervous to release it because it’s so deeply meaningful to me.

Of the many ways that Vicki and I connect, one of the most treasured is that we adored our dads. And that they died too young. In this episode, I read the letter that I wrote to my dad after his sudden death in a biking accident, included in my book Finding My Father’s Faith. I hadn’t had the chance before he died to tell him that I was starting a family, so I wrote him a long-distance letter to break the news.

Episode 20: The Art of the Interview with Dr. Gerald Stein Sharing the Heart of the Matter

In this episode, Wynne Leon and co-host, Dr. Vicki Atkinson are with psychologist, historian, teacher and blogger, Dr. Gerald Stein. We talk about the art of the interview. Dr. Stein draws on his extensive experience as a therapist but also as an expert witness to explain how you need to be aware of what’s been said, present to listen and help guide the conversation when asking and answering questions. He tells us how he’s prepared for interviews and what he’s done to make people comfortable. Dr. Stein wisely coaches us to save the hardest questions for last in the case they end the session. We talk about interviewing family members and what a powerful experience that can be to provide answers and connection. And in the end of our time together, Dr. Stein gives us some perspective about life with a story about something extra. This is a great episode filled with wonderful stories from the wise, experienced, funny, and insightful, Dr. Stein. We know you’ll love it. Episode 20 Show Notes: The Art of the Interview Dr. Stein's Blog: Dr. Gerald Stein | Blogging About Psychotherapy from Chicago (wordpress.com)
  1. Episode 20: The Art of the Interview with Dr. Gerald Stein
  2. Episode 19: Long Distance Letters with Vicki and Wynne
  3. Episode 18: No Time For Kings with Mark Petruska
  4. Episode 17: Building a Base with Brian Hannon
  5. Episode 16: Nuggets of Kindness with Stuart Perkins

Vicki and I also talk, sometimes through tears, about writing letters in general to our fathers after they had passed unexpectedly and the goodness of being able to share stories we’ve written down about them with our children. Vicki brings up the idea that we are a conduit between the older and younger generations, passing on stories and wisdom, especially for young ones who never get to meet their grandparents or were too young when they passed to remember them.

We also talk about being vulnerable to ask questions of our family members before they pass and honor that can be a difficult road depending on their receptivity. But by daring to be seen, we can also possibly benefit by the wonderful gift of exchanging great last lines to our beloveds before they pass.

As a note, we recorded this conversation while some work was being done on Vicki’s house. Please excuse the errant bang here and there. Despite the occasional knock, we know you’ll love this deep and meaningful conversation about writing to and about those we love the most.

Search (and subscribe!) for Sharing the Heart of the Matter on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or Pocket Casts OR Listen to Episode 19 on Anchor: Episode 19: Long Distance Letters with Vicki and Wynne

32 thoughts on “Episode 19: Long Distance Letters with Vicki and Wynne

  1. The banging in the background? Okay, maybe it wasn’t from the great beyond. It was the workers at Vicki’s place, they heard the conversation and wanted to be a part of it all. Love the conversation Wynne and Vicki! This should be a part of your regular schedule — the two of you talking about whatever comes up, solving the world’s problems. Definitely a great listen. I can’t wait to read Vicki’s upcoming book, looking forward to its release, and I can’t say enough good things about yours Wynne! I’ve been reading yours in chunks and I love the deep emotional writing and the connections you make it. I’ve been slow in finishing because it’s inspired me to work on my own letter to my father. I have a few things I need to work through. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the touching conversation guys. Really appreciate the honesty and openness. You’re the best. 😀😀😀😎

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes! Wynne and I chose to conclude that the “noisemakers” 😉 were otherworldly — not just the nice folks working below my home office. Thanks for all the positive feedback, Brian. Wynne wasn’t joking…this recording was a challenge. We were excited to do it…but felt as if we’d peeled back ALL the layers. Wynne’s courage to keep going while she was reading her letter to her father? A testament to what a strong woman she is…99% heart and courage. And just for the record, YOU inspire US with your loving writing and remembrances about your father. Keep going. Keep going! 🥰

      Liked by 4 people

    2. What lovely feedback, Brian. Thank you. I love that you are writing a letter to your father – we’ll have to have a conversation about that! And your note that “you have a few things to work through”? I totally get that too! Thanks for listening – it’s been such an honor to get to know you, Brian!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yay! Thanks so much for making the time to listen when you’re able, Doug. Wynne and I appreciate it…and can’t wait to hear what you think. Have a great day! 🥰


  2. I loved listening to that! Something you said a couple of times about sharing our stories and leaving a legacy really struck me. When I started my blog and got more serious about my writing craft, I really had no idea why I was doing it. I just felt it was something I was called to do. When talking to my daughter the other day, I told her of my plans to write a book when I retire to gather all my “bits of mom wisdom” from my blog so they’ll have it after I’m gone. She loved the idea! Honestly, even if the only two people in the world who read it are my daughters, then it will be a worthwhile exercise. It’s so important to write these stories down while we have the opportunity.

    I have not read your book, Wynne but I think I’ll have to now. Thank you both for sharing your stories with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bits of mom wisdom – I love that, Michelle. Talk about leaving a wonderful legacy. How precious it would be for your daughters (and your readers) to have that concentrated dose of goodness. Love that idea!

      Thank you so much for listening and for your lovely feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thank you so much for ordering by book, Elizabeth! Funny because of the connection that you have to going to my dad’s church once (?) with your friends. Hope you enjoy the podcast!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely and touching podcast ladies 💗. It must be really special to have those letters, and even if they bring tears, to be able to tap into that bond and remember what was so important when you wrote them. I can imagine they keep you connected, and as you said, are a link connecting your children to their pasts, to their grandfathers… to their grandparents. Thank you for being brave and vulnerable to share and remind us all of the possibility of long distance letters

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  4. Lovely podcast today ladies! I have wondered if part of the reason I decided to write the blog for my family with all the stories came about because of the unfinished words I could never say to both my parents. I don’t want my kids, or grands as they get older, to wonder and I want (hope) that they have plenty of time to ask about the stories I share if they need or want to. Thank you both for sharing so deeply and personally of yourselves today.

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    1. What an interesting reflection about unfinished conversations, Deb. I love that you are so intentional about sharing your stories with your kids and grandkids. And thank you so much for listening! ❤

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  5. Bits of mom wisdom. Wynne, you are writing your bits of mom wisdom day by day, and I hope that someday they will find their way into a book that your children will have to treasure forever. I regret not asking more questions of my own mom; my daughter and grandchildren may have the same regret someday. For the moment, at least, they are too busy living their own lives to think beyond their own world. Kudos to you and Vicki for bringing awareness of this to our attention.

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    1. Julia, you are so delightfully supportive. Boy, do I understand how life gets busy and we forget to have these conversations. They take some awareness that we might not have forever. But don’t I remember that your mom wrote a book in her later years? Or was it just that she found love?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and no! My mom was the one who got married for the third time at age 83, and I’m the one who published a book, at nearly the same age. It’s a book of my blogs, which is what I see for you in your future. You’re never too old, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right – I conflated the two. But of course I remember that you wrote a book at 83 because I see your smiling picture every time I take it down from the shelf!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you both Wynne and Victoria for that podcast. There were so many parts of it that touched me. Love the way your dad shepherded others. Not heavy handed. And Victoria’s dad saying “Love you baby girl.” that also speaks to me, as a dad of 3 daughters, 2 in their late 30’s and one in her early 40’s….going to be even more intentional on how I love on each one of them. A beautiful, vulnerable, and encouraging podcast (and the first podcast I’ve ever listened to in my life, of anyone ever….Thank you both! DM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh goodness – your first ever! Excellent – we have no competition, then. 🙂 Thank you for this beautiful feedback. I love your sentence, “as a dad of 3 daughters, 2 in their late 30’s and one in her early 40’s….going to be even more intentional on how I love on each one of them.” I can feel the weight and beauty of that statement from here! Thank you so much!

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