Thanks.

I’ve learned a lot in my 34 years. A lot I’d like to forget. A lot I’ve done that I’d like to forget. But there have been many things I’ve done, saw, and learned that I am especially thankful for. 

Today I’m thankful for my nephew Ashtin. He turned 9 today. He’s got a wealth of his own experience and knowledge under his tiny wings. I wonder sometimes, what must it be like to be a kid these days. Mostly, I feel outta touch to what the kids are into, what they think, what they hope for their future. I appreciate him (and my other nephew and niece) in more ways than they can imagine. In some small ways, they’re reflections of me and how I view the world. If they grew up to do something terrific in this world, I’d be extremely glad and proud of their accomplishments, just like they were my own children. If instead, they demonstrated horrible, reprehensible behavior, I’d be disappointed, angry, and sad. I love them no matter what choices they make in life, and am thankful each day that I get to spend getting to know them better.

I’m also thankful for change. People have the ability to change inside and out, but only if they want to. You cannot make someone do what you want, they have to want it for themselves. Like addicts. You can’t tell a heroin addict to stop shooting up because it isn’t good for their health and it makes you sad. They honestly don’t care. They’re addicts. They’ll change when they decide they want to. I’m marveled at all sorts of change. People make changes every single day. They choose to be happy, They choose to better themselves. I know many people who have been able to do this and seeing their transformation makes me proud to know them.

 

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Dex may know

As long as I can remember I’ve always had a little brother. He was my muse. He did everything I told him to do, just like a personal assistant (that doesn’t get paid). I was grounded on many an occasion for making him be my slave, I beat up on him (sorry about the fork!) and yet, he’s still my brother. People would tell me “he’s going to be bigger than you someday and beat YOU up.” I laughed in their faces. “Righhhhhttt.,” I thought. But as it turns out they were right, which likely marked the first time (and very few) that I’ve actually been wrong about something. He grew tall and beat me up, much of which I deserved.

Through all the years growing up as latchkey children, playing Nintendo, watching cartoons, building forts out of blankets, and the few times we’ve been in trouble together, our relationship hasn’t changed much. We still remember the irony of childhood, inside jokes that still make double over in laughter today, and a sense of thankfulness and silent appreciation for having each other to lean on now and again over the years. Without Mike I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Thank you brother for your humor, quick wit, and for always being my ‘little’ brother. Happy 28th Birthday!

Portland’s biggest Blazer fan