Uncle Oscar used to call me Henry. This confused me because I’m a girl. And I wasn’t very good at sarcasm until I was much older.
This was back in the days that I used to try to wander around in the woods like an “Indian” without making a sound and looking forward to when I would finally be able to drive the three-wheeler. I was young and fascinated (and a little terrified) by the woods behind my grandparents house. We had a little garden and grew carrots and my little sister ate them right out of the ground.
So, I was Henry. An awkward little girl that would imagine the woods as a magical playground made just for her, who loved playing outside, and thought swinging was the closest you could get to flying.
Henry… When I was sixteen my parents bought a car from some of our friends. My first car. He was a 1987 325is BMW. Made the same year as me… heh. Our friend bought it brand new in 1987 and owned it all the way up until we became the new owners. He asked that whatever we did with him that I keep his name the same: Heinrich. I was new to the idea of naming things, but I agreed and called him Henry for short.
So we were the Henrys. And we had some adventures. And I think about all these memories… these people I’ve been and could be… names I’ve had and will have. And this is what keeps me grounded.