014: Mom’s Faith Was Bigger Than Multiple Sclerosis with Randy BeckerBy Arwen Becker | November 3, 2020
Randy’s youth was forever changed when his mom was diagnosed with progressive Multiple Sclerosis when she was just 26. It was the accident that she experienced early in her diagnosis that permanently relinquished her to a wheelchair and thrust him into a place of caregiver while he was still in elementary school. Yet it was her consistent faith that left a lasting mark on his life.
Randy is a retirement planning professional, an author, and the founder and co-owner of Becker Retirement Group. He started in the financial industry at the age of 22 and has been doing this for over 33 years. Watching his mom battle multiple sclerosis over the course of 30 years and seeing the financial impact her diagnosis had on his father and their family inspired him to help his clients thrive and protect themselves from the potential devastation of health care costs, voluntary layoffs, and major market corrections.
Randy is also Arwen’s husband. They have been married for 16 years, worked together for 20 and have three sons together. Today, Randy joins the podcast to look back on his experience and how it shaped him into the man he is today. As the first man on this podcast, he’s here to share the incredible story of how the adversity his mother faced impacted and ricocheted into his life.
Overcomer Playlist Recommendation
Pearls of Wisdom
- How Randy’s mother taught him that it always starts with a smile.
- What Randy learned from how his mom always operated with faith and with work.
- Why you should always persevere and never give up.
Tweetables“Keep a smile on your face because that will eventually drift down to your heart. It will help overwhelm the challenges and the darkness.” - Randy Becker Click To Tweet “Never give up. Persevere. Press on, no matter what.” - Randy Becker Click To Tweet “It boils down to enjoying success but staying humble and checking your ego at the door.” - Randy Becker Click To Tweet
- She Handled It, So Can You!: An Inspiring and Empowering Financial Guide for Women
- Becker Retirement
- The Richest Man in Babylon
- Ego Is the Enemy
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Connect with Arwen Becker
Mom had a strategy for dealing with her challenges. She would have alone time in my parents’ bathroom and if it was a moment to cry or if it was a moment to feel sorry for herself or if it was whatever she was dealing with at that moment, she would take this half-hour or so and get it out. So, that by the time she opened that door, it was go-time with a family,
Arwen Becker: Well, hello, everybody. I am so excited because as I had mentioned on my intro podcast that occasionally I would be interviewing a man who had a woman in his life who made a dramatic impact because of the adversity that she went through and how that impacted and ricocheted into his life. So, I am so thrilled that the first wonderful man I have on this podcast is my most favorite person in the world, my husband, Randy. And so, I am going to actually read an excerpt from my book, She Handled It, So Can You! You can pick it up on Amazon but it's in talking about his mother and then we're going to break down a little bit more specifically how this really impacted his life, the life that she led.
Randy grew up in Renton, Washington in a traditional nuclear family of four, his mom, Nancy, his dad, John, and his older sister Kim. When Randy was born, his dad worked as an accountant and his mom, a secretary at West Coast Airlines. His mother could type 100 words per minute on a manual typewriter and she played the cello and the piano beautifully. Their life was consistent, stable, and happy. Shortly after Randy was born, mom's vision began to blur. She figured it was just changing eyesight, no big deal, so she made her way into the eye doctor for a routine checkup. The results went way beyond new glasses. She was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis. She was just 26.
Randy has no memories of his mom walking unaided. Earlier in his life when she had full use of her arms and hands, she walked with a cane. When Randy would act up, his mother would grab the cane like a scene from The Gong Show, hook some part of him, and pull him into her arms subduing the little mischievous boy. He found it quite amusing to try and stay just out of mom's reach but she was like a ninja with that cane. Somehow, she always captured her lively little boy. Laughter abounded. Their personalities and sense of humor aligned. They were two peas in a pod. Life was still very good.
One day, mom lost her footing on the area rug as she walked into the kitchen. The wail that eight-year-old Randy heard from the backyard was terrifying. He sprinted into the kitchen to find mom in agony on the floor and dad was already on the phone with 911. The ambulance herds her off to Valley Medical in Renton. Randy and Kim stayed behind with grandma until mom returned home the next day in a cast and wheelchair. Mom had broken her right femur in the fall. After several weeks that passed and the excitement of the strange and sort of fun wheelchair had worn off, mom headed back to Valley Medical to have our cast removed. Yay! Everyone was so relieved that life would return to normal without the irritation and difficulty this wheelchair created in 1973, decades before the Americans with Disabilities Act Regulations were in effect. Excited, Randy ran to the front door as the car pulled into the driveway. Dad parked, walked around to the trunk, and to Randy's confusion, pulled out the wheelchair.
“What's going on? I thought this thing was gone,” Randy thought. His parents set things straight with the kids that day. “Kim, Randy,” dad began, “I'm really sorry to tell you but the doctors have told us that mom will likely continue to be in the wheelchair unless there's one day a cure for MS. I'm so sorry.” Life as they knew it would never be the same and they all ached for it to go back to the way it had been. Of course, the family held on to hope and faith that one day Nancy would be healed but that day never came while she was on Earth. As her viral disease advanced, Nancy lost all use of her arms. She dealt with severe pain and physical discomfort. She was completely immobilized and often quite helpless. But what Randy witnessed was a woman who would rise above her difficulties and disability. She didn't want other’s pity. She handled it. Nancy used her exceptional communication skills to do whatever she could to mother her children, be a loving wife, and aid her communities with the abilities she had. She was involved with PTA and received the Golden Acorn Award given to a deserving parent for service in their school community. She joined the MS Society so she could help counsel and support newly diagnosed patients. She diligently practiced her faith and demonstrated resolve amidst her incredible trials
Due to his mom's disease, part of Randy's upbringing put him in the role of caregiver. He helped his mom with everyday activities like eating and using the bathroom, having to provide support in ways that not very many young boys would have to. But looking back on his experience, that's part of what has shaped him into the man he is today. He is caring and empathetic. He has a servant's heart, especially for women. He has an undaunted determination and is filled with faith and hope.
Randy Becker is a retirement planning professional author, founder, and co-owner of Becker Retirement Group. He got his start in the financial industry at the age of 22 and has been doing this for over 33 years.
After watching his mom battle through 30 years of multiple sclerosis, and seeing the financial impact that had on his dad, his responsibilities really have progressed to what he does now at Becker Retirement Group, creating strategies for clients to thrive and make sure that they're protected from the potential devastation of these expensive health care costs or possibly late in life and voluntary layoffs or from major market corrections. We've been married now for 16 years, we've worked together now for 20, and he's also the proud papa of three incredible boys, Morgan, Ashton, and Easton. He's an accomplished guitarist, which I totally fell in love with him the first time I heard him play Soundgarden. Remember, I grew up in the 90s. That's when I was in college when all the grunge bands were going, but he is very accomplished, both electric and acoustic, and enjoys rocking out in a couple of local well-established Puget Sound area bands.
Arwen Becker: Randy Becker, my wonderful husband, thank you so much for being with me on the show today.
Randy Becker: Arwen, I am of course happy to be here with you for sure.
Arwen Becker: Are you afraid? You're my first male guest on this podcast.
Randy Becker: Well, I'm pretty comfortable in my skin around you. So, no, I'm actually very excited.
Arwen Becker: Yeah. Well, I'm so thrilled to have you here. So, you brought a song that we can add to our overcomer playlist, something that you feel is encouraging, inspiring. What song did you choose?
Randy Becker: So, it's called You Are Loved by Josh Groban. And I know we've all heard it because I want to call it Don't Give Up, right? The first verse is:
Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
When your heart is heavy
I will lift it for you
Don't give up
Because you want to be heard
If silence keeps you
I, I will break it for you
Arwen Becker: I love that song.
Randy Becker: Of course, he sounds so much better singing it. I'm just not going to…
Arwen Becker: You're not going to try? Remember, on my birthday years ago, we actually went and saw him live.
Randy Becker: I do. I do. It was fun.
Arwen Becker: It was magical. He’s such a good singer. Great performer too. Well, you know, I read an excerpt from my book. It was a story that you helped me craft before I put it in there about your mom and what it was like growing up with a parent who faced a real significant disability and really from the time that you were very young that you didn't really remember her being of all abilities. Can you take us back maybe to that time period in which she got injured?
Randy Becker: Yeah. So, we're going to take a flashback to the late 60s and early 70s and my memories involve the interior design of the home that I grew up in the Renton Highlands. We had a dark green carpet. We had all the orange-gold and just the browns. It was actually pretty fun. We had a really bright orange couch. The reason I'm bringing up the way things were designed is that I always talk about the vivid memory of my mom energetically kind of chasing me around while I was goofing off and laughing. Actually, she had an advantage because she could reach out with her cane and scooping up. And the thing that is so prevalent in my memory about mom during those early years, and actually all the way through her entire life is this big, ginormous smile that she had on her face. She had full on top teeth, bottom teeth, big smile, big grin, and she wore that smile a lot, all through the challenges and trials that she faced on a regular basis.
Arwen Becker: Sounds like from what you've told me, she's a lot like our youngest, like Easton, a practical joker, and just really used laughter and jokes and things like that to keep things light.
Randy Becker: Right. And there's more to it. This is like our youngest, of course, has to do with me but some of it, well, quite a bit of it was the same with mom, and that is she just was a gifted communicator. She had the ability to frame her thoughts well and then she could communicate them in a heartfelt manner, and she enjoyed the English language so she was very good at enunciation and meanings of words and then piecing together sentences. Now, when you take it to me, and then you go to our little guy, Easton, right now, Easton is still wielding it with a lot of sarcasm and it's all jokes and it's all of that, and mom loved to laugh. One of our most common bonds was that we were constantly laughing and joking and cutting up and I was still way more sarcastic than she was, but she just really liked to laugh and get a lot of joy out of us watching TV together laughing and then me doing an instant replay of the interpretation of what we saw. Yeah. You see our guy do on a regular basis and, yeah, I could keep her in absolute stitches.
Arwen Becker: I'm sure. Well, why don't you take us back to the days, weeks, and maybe even the months surrounding that time period where she did come back from the hospital still with a wheelchair? And what was that like for you as a young boy, elementary school age, having to navigate with a mom who was wheelchair-bound? What do you remember about that?
Randy Becker: Well, first of all, I do remember the season and I think it was about spring. I remember that it was still reasonable for me to go outside and play in the backyard. So, I remember I was in the backyard playing and goofing around and probably tinkering, building something when they came home and that's when we had to sit down and the wheelchair was still there. Mom was still pretty strong. Even though she was healing, she still had full use of her arms and pretty functional to be quite honest with you. She could even transfer herself and things of that nature. I was like I said very little, but I remember that.
Arwen Becker: Talk a little bit about how that impacted you as an individual, seeing your mother, the woman that you love and cherish, struggling to do the basic things that most other parents could do?
Randy Becker: So, I recall that one of the things that we agreed that we were going to do as a family and my dad, of course, led the way on this is that we're all going to rally and fill in the gap. So, here's one simple thing. So, for example, mom ironed on Thursdays. I seem to remember that. But my job was to set up the ironing board. It was at a height that wasn't a standup ironing board any longer. It was where she would sit and we have the ironing box, and it had things in it that she would use when she was ironing and I'd bring the box out, set it to the side, and then I would be in charge of plugging in the iron. Of course, everyone grew up with chores but we had a different level of chores. By the way, side note, I was probably the best wheelchair wheelie boy that ever existed and I got to the point where I could hook a wheelie in the wheelchair and just sit there and watch like a half-hour or an hour of TV without any appearance of being up on two wheels. It was really great, the wheelchair wheelies.
Arwen Becker: Because that's what you would probably do when you needed to go get her wheelchair instead of just wheeling it over is you would get yourself in it and then you would ride yourself over to where she was. Is that what you would do?
Randy Becker: Yeah. Kind of but let me frame this up. So, mom didn't just hang out in the wheelchair. She liked her comfort, her easy chair, and she would watch TV or when she was working, she'd be in a different chair at the desk and things of that nature. So, she would transfer out of the wheelchair into where she's comfortable, and then we'd fold up the wheelchair and put it back to the side. But again, for me skateboards, wheelchairs, go-karts, they all fall into the same category. So, what I do is I just would pull it out but I could sit closer to her because we'd be side by side. I could be literally within like six inches. Again, my mom was my best friend. So, we just like being close and goofing and I could sit closer to her when I was in the wheelchair.
Arwen Becker: And she probably set the tone that she kept things light and airy with laughter, which probably allowed you to do the same in a situation that was really difficult.
Randy Becker: Yeah. Mom had a strategy for dealing with her challenges and she told us this when we were much older. She would take a moment in the morning, waking up to the plight that she was facing. She would have alone time in my parents’ bathroom and if it was a moment to cry or if it was a moment to feel sorry for herself or if it was whatever she was dealing with at that moment, she would take this half-hour or so and get it out. So, that by the time she opened that door and it was go-time with a family, whatever that might be, breakfast, getting the kids off, it was out of her system. This is how she described it and then she would task herself with whatever it was she was trying to accomplish that day. Her primary focus was to support her husband and support her kids. But then she transitioned to these other great things that you were mentioning and the story in your book, the work with the PTA, the work with the elementary school. You asked a little bit about how I felt as a young child with mom in a wheelchair. Frankly, like you could expect anyone. I was a little embarrassed or shy about it. I didn't want to get teased. I didn't want to be different.
Arwen Becker: Were you ever resentful? Did you ever kind of resent like other kids don't have to deal with this? Why me? Why am I having to deal with a parent who has a disability?
Randy Becker: Resent is one way of saying it but more like ashamed. Yeah, I didn't resent my mom for being in the situation but I was not ashamed but embarrassed sort of because of what was the outward appearance, especially became a little bit more, oh God, I can't find a word for it, ashamed or embarrassed. When we went to the mall and we used to just call them looky-loos. People would just look at us while we were transferring her from the car into a wheelchair or wheeling her into the Southcenter Mall.
Arwen Becker: Because at this time, like I said in the book, this was before the Americans with Disabilities Act. So, I'm assuming from what you've told me, there weren't easy ramps to get up and down off of the sidewalk. There weren't handicapped parking stalls that are right at the very front of the mall. Is that correct?
Randy Becker: It's true. It's true. And it was, yeah, not as convenient as it is today but it's just like when you're a parent and you have a stroller and you figure out how to navigate escalators. By the way, I didn't put mom on escalator. You're not supposed to. But you can navigate escalators and curbs and speed bumps and people and things of that nature.
Arwen Becker: You make do because it's just what you're dealing with.
Randy Becker: Yeah. And so, we got pretty good at doing that navigating.
Arwen Becker: Yeah. The Golden Acorn Award that's like the highest honor that a parent can receive for the community work that they do in that school. And so, you had told me that there were a lot of times that your mom was way more involved even being very limited in mobility with the school than a lot of parents who really could have put that kind of time in. Is that correct?
Randy Becker: Yes. You got to remember, I'm like a disinterested little boy at this point in time. So, I don't know all the work that she did. I just know that our whole family knew that mom was on the phone all day. So, she was working in the manner that she could. I was going to say earlier too that she actually got to school one day a week so that she could be the milk lady. Milk was a nickel and I remember actually, even though we were kind of diving into how did you feel about seeing your mom, I still was the little boy that was like, "My mom's at school. It’s so fun. I get to see her.” And it was awesome. But she did the work for the PTA. She was a den mom for Cub Scouts. She did, as you mentioned, a lot of work and support for the MS Society. One of the things she did is she got herself involved in things that would command her attention, not become self-absorbed with what she was going through.
And there was an era, she would be the only person that could say this better than me, but there was an era of the disease where it wasn't pain-filled. It was the immobility. Literally, she was paraplegic for quite a long period of time and that immobility had its moments with atrophy and swelling and things of that nature. But you know, as a little guy, the way I could help is I could rub her feet. I could help her do little leg exercises where you'd bend at the knee. I remember doing that quite often. And that would give her a sense of relief even though she couldn't feel anything from the waist down.
Arwen Becker: What was the time period when the mobility when it kind of really shifted from just mobility issues to a lot of pain? And then how did that continue to progress for her?
Randy Becker: Yeah. This is tough for me to talk about but it's really sometime after middle school and going into high school and the disease, MS, has multiple types within its diagnosis, and mom's was progressive where it didn't subside for a period of time. Right now, the name of that escapes me but anyway, mom's was progressive and it's nerves. So, as it progresses it works its way towards the arms, which is where at that certain point mom could no longer use her arms, and then she couldn't wheel herself around so there was more immobility and what else do you do with your arms? Well, you feed yourself, right, and toilet and transferring and everything in between. Then it started to attack the nerves in her jaw and that's where the pain was intense for mom. She couldn't really hide it but she tried not to let it dominate her presence. She did not ask for a lot of attention and for people to feel sorry for her. But we all wanted to try to help and we did have trip after trip after trip down to the University of Washington Pain Clinic and different specialists and things of that nature right down to the point where we said, “Fine, cut the nerve. Just do anything to take care of that TMJ or whatever exactly it was the pain that was so intense in her jaw.” That's where life was miserable, for sure.
Arwen Becker: And at that point, had she stopped doing things that she had been doing for MS and being on the phones and things of that nature? Did that make it just impossible?
Randy Becker: That had long since stopped. She couldn't dial the phone. She couldn't see as well. She couldn't hear as well. Nerves, nerves, nerves, they're everywhere. And MS attacks the myelin sheath which is like the insulation on a wire and it's cool, they have some pretty good treatment for it now, actually, very good treatment but back then, it's two wires crossing one another, they're just going to short circuit. Your optic nerve is nerve. What you hear with, it's all based on bundles of nerves and things of that nature.
Arwen Becker: That has been really hard watching somebody that you love so dear, they go through that.
Randy Becker: Yeah. Oh, by the grace of God, we're measuring this in a period of decades. So, it wasn't one day she could and the next day she couldn't. So, we had the ability to assimilate, to take her lead on her counsel on how she wanted us to react. And so, like I said, she was fun and filled with laughter and good spirits, really, even through the pain and the worst days.
Arwen Becker: So, when you look back at multiple decades of this experience with your mom and, obviously, so many incredible lessons that she taught you through her own example, what are really some of the main things that you took away from those years?
Randy Becker: Well, there's a couple of key things and that is keep a smile on your face because that will eventually drift down to your heart. And it will help overwhelm the challenges and the darkness that wants to fill your heart and your mind. And it starts with a smile and it's not always easy but this is the thing that you and I both consciously do. We see people in our lives, we encounter individuals, of course, all day long at work here but out there when we're being consumers, we smile at people. We do. And some people are just like literally stunned and shocked but also it allows us to spread a little bit of joy. Another takeaway from the way mom operated is operate with faith and with work. And so, there's hope behind going through the activities that will allow you to accomplish what you're trying to accomplish. So, there's faith and mom had faith in God. She loved God, she believed in God, she believed in the Bible. She quoted scripture from time to time and it was a big part of what got her through, her faith. And I'm proud of her for that. And of course, I'll say lastly, never give up.
It was like one of the reasons why I like the Josh Groban song, You Are Loved. It starts with “don't give up. It's just the weight of the world”. And it's not as though I carry that song all the way from my childhood. First of all, I just love him because he's a great artist and sings fantastically and I like the arrangement of the songs and, Arwen, you know me better than anyone when it comes to music, I'm more about arrangements, the production. I oftentimes hardly know the lyrics of the songs that either I’m performing or listening to. But in that particular case, I can hear the lyrics and really, they catch me. And so, going back to mom, never give up. Persevere, press on no matter what. And when you witness what mom went through, it's just a classic example for how to operate.
Arwen Becker: You know, one question I wanted to ask you was, as a kid growing up with a parent who was disabled, is there anything that stands out that you wish people would have said or quite honestly was not helpful?
Randy Becker: You know, that's a very interesting question because, actually, I saw the exact reverse. I did see a community come around and support my mom. I saw family members that would come when she was unable to see as well without a lot of eye strain because she wasn't blind, but they would read to her. They would either read whatever she was doing for bible study or they would read just a fun novel, a romance novel, I don't know. And I saw people supporting our family, give us rides, coaches, always gave me rides and other relatives would do the things that mom was unable to do and support mom quite a bit. And a lot of friends would come over and they would pray with her and they would visit with her and it wasn't just a session of woe is me, a pity party. They would also get together and hang out and have fun and laugh and do great things. So, they would provide comfort knowing that mom was, you know, she was an outgoing individual. She was an extrovert.
Arwen Becker: Were most of those people from your church community that you guys grew up in?
Randy Becker: Yeah. They were from mom's church community.
Arwen Becker: Just the reason that I say that about your mom is because I think that that's a really valuable piece, too, to make as a point and that importance of building community and being part of a community when you don't need it because your mom had built that community around her and continued to sow into it. So, when that time came that she really did need it, those people were there for her. And I think a lot of people find themselves not having put the work in during the good times to build that community and they find themselves in a tough time, and they really don't have anybody to call on. And so, as you were saying that, I was thinking back to conversations we've had and I just think that that's a really important piece. It's like having a financial emergency account. It's not there for you to go out on a trip. It's there for when something isn't going right. And yet, in the good times, you're putting money into that account for the truth that that is what life is. There are going to be times we're in valleys and relationships sowing into that.
It's a huge part of having people around you when life gets really hard. And I think your mom really had done that well. She had built that community up and they were there when she needed it. I think that's really important.
Randy Becker: For sure.
Arwen Becker: So, rapid-fire last three questions that we've got. Obviously, you've been in the financial industry for just a few decades, you know, your entire career. What would you say is one of the best pieces of financial wisdom that you've been given, heard given out, whatever it might be?
Randy Becker: I think the best wisdom is what you've walked through yourself. And it's because I didn't do this soon enough that, actually, I've wised up to it as I've actually initiated it in the last maybe 10 years and that is pay yourself first. We all have heard it. I mean, it came from the Richest Man in Babylon but I'll add to it. So, the enhancement to paying yourself first is find the way to automate it. Take it out of your own control. I'll get my paycheck and then I'll just transfer $50 over to the savings account every month. Actually, do it before you get your paycheck and payroll companies HR like in our particular case, we do it right at the level where the income comes from before it even comes into our business account, which is a giant vessel that loves to just drink all of the assets as fast as they can. If we just set it off to the side, then you can accumulate that money that will allow you to then buy shares and invest. And the order of priority, of course, is to build emergency reserves then fun liquidity money and then to save. So, you want to save with your company plan. Of course, you want to grab any matching that's available, and you want to save outside your company plan, and do the fun things like buy the fun stocks that are catching your interest or that are kicking butt at the moment. And that's what you can do when you pay yourself first.
Arwen Becker: Yeah. And I think for a lot of entrepreneurs out there, speaking to Randy saying about 10 years ago really started to do this because a lot of us that own our own companies are notorious for putting everything back into the company and going, "Well, when I eventually sell my company or when I get to this next part.” And I think that that's one of those areas that, Randy, if we could go back in time, we would stop using that as an excuse to not be setting a little bit aside because it is easy to put back into your company.
Arwen Becker: So, what about a book? You did mention a book, but I'm not sure if that was the one that you had on your list a book that you would recommend, and why?
Randy Becker: Read it just last year, and actually read it twice. So, Arwen, it's called the Ego is the Enemy and the author is Ryan Holiday. And what is fantastic about the book is that it defines the balance in life that helps you seek that true joyfulness and peace that you get to a certain point, and that's what you really realized that you want not all the money in the world or what have you. But it boils down to enjoying success but staying humble and checking your ego at the door. And that's going to translate into having quality friendships. It's going to translate into enjoying the moment, being with your family, enjoying your spouse, enjoying the things that you've accumulated, but enjoying the act of giving, and just finding that peace. And you know what, this book has continued to help me because I know you've heard me talk about this for the last two, three years, that that's what I'm seeking. Right? That's where I'm at right now is just having a peaceful balance. It's probably going to be a never-ending quest. There's no question about it but the reason I'm glad you asked about this book that the reason I recommend Ego is the Enemy is because it's just one step closer to helping define that and I think the author did a fantastic job.
Arwen Becker: I totally agree. You and I share a Kindle account so when you read it, I was like, “What is this book?” And I've read it now a couple of times. I might be on my third time reading it because it's a constant reminder and a check in the spirit, are you focused on the wrong things, the things that are about accolades and acquiring stuff, and me, me, me, my, my, my feeling important. Are those things getting in the way of just what you had mentioned, the things that are important, having peace, having joy, being able to not allow the stuff that's accumulated to irritate you because it's getting dusty and it's getting dirty, and it's getting broken, and it's degrading, as all things do. It's the relationships that we can take with us. And so, I highly recommend that book too. And then finally, a quote.
Randy Becker: Okay. Here's the quote. It's, “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” And that was spoken by Sir Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941. That's the long version. We have a little plaque in our office here and it's front of mind for me but really reminds me of my mom. And it’s just, "Never, never, never give up.” That's the shorthand version but you're not allowed to misquote people but I think it’s what’s morphed into.
Arwen Becker: That's funny. I actually didn't know that. I didn't know it actually was the shortened version of that longer quote. So, I learned something today. And then as I said, Randy, he’s also in a couple of bands here in the Puget Sound area. Of course, with COVID, we're still kind of on shut down. Live music has escaped us for a good, what, eight months, six, eight months at this point?
Randy Becker: For sure.
Arwen Becker: It's been a while. How are you feeling about that?
Randy Becker: So, I love making music and do you mind if I talk about that?
Arwen Becker: Yeah. No, please.
Randy Becker: Yeah, I love that because obviously it just is a complete different stream of consciousness when you're involved in making music, but then the next echelon is actually performing it for an audience. You create a symbiotic relationship. There's a feedback loop and there's adrenaline, and the whole thing is magical. I am grateful for God gifting me with the ability to be able to play and I'm not even the greatest guitar player in the world, but I just get a lot of joy out of it. I'm going to give a shout out to my two bands. One of them is called Altered 90s. Hey, guess what era of music we play?
Arwen Becker: Hmm, let me see. Could it be the 90s?
Randy Becker: It’s fun. It's fun to be a guitarist and play those songs. Some of them are challenging and they're every band you can think of and more on the rock side so they're going to have some Alice In Chains and Nirvana and Tool. It's just good old-fashioned rock and roll. So, really fun to turn it up and it's a good band. And the other one is called Washed In Black. And this is literally a local, actually regional institution. This band is all things Pearl Jam and the group has worked their butt off to become exceptional. And I'm honored to have recently been invited to join as a lead guitar. So, I'm the Mike McCready part. It's a challenge. He's an underrated guitarist. He's actually quite good.
Arwen Becker: Well, my dear, my wonderful husband, thank you so much for spending time with us today and for sharing the pearls of your heart of the story of your mom, and I just really appreciate you being here with me.
Randy Becker: I'm happy to have done it. This has been fun. Thank you.
Arwen Becker: You're welcome.
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