#WednesdaysWithHenry…One year later.

When Henry arrived at the Shell Station today to help me work I immediately wished him a Happy Anniversary. He had no idea that it had been one year since our fateful first meeting, when he shyly told me that he was watching me work and would be happy to help me “for $5-$10 for the day”.

What a year it’s been! There have been tears, laughter, head scratching, hugs, kisses, screams and big, deep sighs. I’m not sure that I would have had it any other way…well, I would have had him find employment, learn to read and write and be on his way to finding his own place to live but I’ve learned that I’m not in charge damn it so I have to accept what is.

Our inside jokes are so hysterical that we often laugh until we cry. Henry continues to shock me with his insight and his candid honesty…I think that was redundant but try. We talk about social issues, sports, family, hopes, dreams and we both believe in just doing the right thing.

Today while detailing a Mercedes Sprinter we discussed for the one millionth time what kind of house Henry wants to live in once he gets his GED. I’ve stopped suggesting that he learn to read and write first, we both know that that is the main thing holding him back. All he wants to do is get his GED, find a good job and live in a trailer.

A client asked me after we washed his car how things are going “with my homeless guy”. I let him know that he’s still a mess but we’re doing what we can. Of course I shared that with Henry and he laughed. He corrected me and said that he’s “a hot mess.”

A few weeks ago Henry walked by a bar in Hillcrest and asked a woman for a cigarette. As he always does, he asked her if she knew Kari. She surprised him by saying that she’d met me but doesn’t really know me however, she knows my partner. Henry then told me that he said “I’m happy because Kari is happy and in love.” That’s how best friends feel when one or the other find happiness.

Any time I spend time with Henry Kelley I’m filled with joy and sadness. I know that I’m doing the best that I can for him but I always feel that it’s just not enough. I will continue to do what I can, be his friend and believe that one day he will get his GED, find a job and move into that trailer.

Happy Anniversary to all that have followed our friendship. As I have said before, if you see Henry roaming around San Diego, say hi to him. He’s kind of famous you know. :)

Mercedes Sprinter Henry helped me detail today.
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