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Really, I’ve written about this before, five years ago, right after Eri turned twenty-five. Everything I wrote about Eri in “The Meaning of Eri’s 25th” is still applicable today. I only have a few things to add to that earlier post. First, Happy Birthday, Bro!!! Welcome to the second tier of youth, the one for folks over thirty, but not yet middle-aged! For the first time ever, we’re in the same general age category, until I turn forty-six, a year and seven months from now – yay!

Second, the fact that you’re thirty today is a reminder of how long I’ve been doing certain things. Like the fact that I’ve been cooking for myself, for family and for other people for thirty years. And that I’ve been at least six feet tall for a bit more than thirty years. And that I’d turned to Christianity a couple of months before Eri’s birth, a bit more than thirty years ago. All of it serves as a reminder that Donald 1.0 had been in the midst of evolution right around your birth.

Third and maybe just as important, the fact that it’s never too late in life to achieve your dreams. That I’m able to writer about my experiences — and our family — these days with commitment was something I couldn’t even conceive as a dream thirty years ago. By May ’84, I’d buried that knowledge of myself as a writer deep within my spirit and soul, so much so that I rarely thought about writing anything again until I was nearly twenty. Imagine a situation so deep that an aspiring writer can’t articulate the words necessary in which to write. I didn’t have to imagine it, though.

I hope that you Eri — in fact, our other brothers Maurice, Yiscoc and Darren, too — will find the strength and energy to do your dreams, to harness what remains of our dwindling youth before our hair is completely gray. I will do the same.