I met Stacy at OSU, randomly assigned roommates, 18 years old. We became close friends early on. I was there when she met her future husband, I was her bridesmaid at her wedding.
I moved back to Cleveland for a time, and we lost touch for a year or 2. When I moved back to Columbus, we eventually met up and went right back to being friends. The only difference is that she's just had a baby.
I met Henry when he was a few weeks old. Stacy was my first friend to have a baby. When she divorced Henry's dad, we became roommates. Having a 1 1/2 year old roommate is... surreal. Lisa Ann joined us. 3 adult women in their mid 20's and a toddler. Of course there are pics of him in earrings and makeup.
Henry and my dog Miles became fast friends. Henry wanted to do everything Miles did. Including drinking water off a dirty slip-n-slide. They would play and wrestle and Miles was always gentle. When we told Henry we were having hot dogs for dinner he cried and said, "I don't want to eat Miles!"
We lived together for a year and a half. Then the 3 adult women were ready to get their own apartments, start new chapters in their lives.
Henry and Stacy would visit Cleveland over the years. He swam in my mom's pool, tried Korean bubble tea (did NOT like it) and got to see his old buddy Miles. I have a life sized replica doll of Henry that his mom made in art school. He's been with me for years.
The last time I saw him was at my art show in 2015. I was excited to give him a print of some weird graffiti. He no longer went by Henry, but preferred Drix or Hendrix.
His teenage years were rough. He battled depression and bipolar disorder. I just kept hoping that his mom could find the right doctor, the right therapist, the right medicine. And boy, did she try. And Henry fought hard. He had his art and music, his dog, and a little sister who adored him. But on June 15th, he stopped fighting and took his own life.
I'll let his mom tell you about him:
"I do not often talk about my son on Facebook. I am very proud of him, but at 21 considered him to be the storyteller of his own life.
He would want you to know he was a brilliant musician whose breadth of inspiration reached from Nick Cave to Killer Mike to Japanese Jazz to Nina Simone.
He would want you to know he was eloquent and a bit reckless like his favorite writer Hunter S Thompson.
He would want you to know that Depression and BiPolar Disorder are formidable Life Game Bosses, and that each round he fought with them took a bit from him he could not somehow find again.
Hey, things don't always make sense. This, the end of his story and the way he wrote it, makes so little sense to me and those who loved him. But as Ron Swanson would say, "I Regret Nothing. The End."
I know what you're about, Son."
He loved this quote:
He was also very funny:
He was also a gifted musician. Check out his music: HERE
All the photos I've taken, along with pics from his Uncle John and other friends:
I dearly loved this boy. He wasn't a son to me. He was just "my Henry".