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Genesis of the BYM Project

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Success can appropriately be described as the tip of an iceberg. The visible portion above the surface can be incredibly beautiful to behold. But it is only so because of the huge unseen mass that supports it from below.

Whenever you see something new come to public attention it likely has been years, if not decades, in the making. And the journey, more often than not, is the most important, least visible, least understood and most rewarding part of that accomplishment.

The Journey

Your story never really starts with you. There are always those who have gone before and blazed the trails upon which you walk. And, of course, some trail blazers may continue to influence your direction to this day. The truth is that we are all connected through a web of influencers, both good and bad. And I'm not referring to the current iteration of the term as it applies to social media. For, we are all influencers in this web of our interconnected existence.

The pertinent portion of this story is about a man who gave up everything at the age of fifty-eight, voluntarily moved into the same room (in his sister's house) with his ninety-eight year old, blind father and proceeded to provide him round the clock care. The unanticipated lessons emerging from that experience are the focal point of this story.

In 1989, shortly after his parents came to live with him in a San Francisco suburb, he went through the very traumatic breakup of a relationship. The intense emotional pain of that experience triggered the recovery of repressed memories of a childhood of abuse of multiple types that began when he was just five years old, memories he was not even aware of during most of his tumultuous life.

His mother at the time was paralyzed, bedridden and unable to communicate. His father's response in the negative when queried about whether he had known about the abuse was acceptable because he had always been working away from the home. But he was unprepared for the shocking revelation that his father had suffered exactly the same fate as a child - sexual and other types of abuse at the hands of an adult female relative. (Very rarely, if ever, is only one type of abuse perpetrated. Physical and / or emotional abuse are typically also involved.)

Fast forward twenty years, and he is confronted with even more monumental revelations. Many nights he lay awake listening to his father lament the horrors of his youth, including brutal beatings that continued well into his teenage years and mistakes he had made in his life that were likely a result of his abusive past. Despite the fact that, against all odds, his dad had become a successful businessman that was all he could focus on as his spark began to dwindle. He tried his best to comfort his father while seeking to get him to focus on his successes. But it was really too late to ease his pain and suffering.

In 2011, as he and his sister stood on either side of their father's hospice bed, he suddenly got the urge to pull out his mobile phone and begin calling his dad's closest friends and relatives. His sister followed suit. And as they alternated placing their phones to each ear, one by one those folks were able to tell him how much they loved, respected and admired him. Then they each held one of his hands as he took his final breaths and made his transition. He has been forever changed by that entire experience.

In the immediate aftermath, he found himself vowing to spend the rest of his life helping others avoid his father's fate. As he struggled to figure out exactly how to do that the Become Your Masterpiece idea began to take shape. That was in 2013. He began immediately laying the ground work but the project got derailed as life got in the way. Perhaps he hadn't yet learned all the lessons he would need in order to complete this project. The fact that we are here now must mean that it is time. Let's get busy!


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