I was pondering over the whole Henry W thing, rereading the e-mail exchange. In hindsight, I was pretty shocked to see that I clearly volunteered for this. But I did. As soon as I realized that the story might not be told, I was raising my hand (virtually speaking) and saying, "Then I will do it." I suppose that part of this is selfishness. I considered it such a story, right away, that I couldn't imagine that it would not be told. The idea of telling Henry that his story wasn't important was something that I couldn't bring myself to do. But, still, after all it was all said and done, I was sitting in the dust saying, "What happened there...."
The fact is, Henry has a remarkable remarkable story. I tell stories. So I will tell another one, just bigger than I usually see bumbling along in my normal life. Instead of describing what I see, what I think, I will be describing Henry. I will be describing what he saw, what he thinks. First person, third person. That's all. I received some very good advice from a reporter, so good I printed it out. Henry's speaking is assisted, and so formulating answers takes a while, so I'm working on a list of questions, which he will answer via e-mail. He's a very good writer himself, which also makes my job a lot, lot easier. I will have to take pictures which will be a challenge for me (BB ~ I neeeeeeeeeeed you sistah!) but I will figure a way.
Like 'The Little Engine That Could', I have gone from abject terror to breaking it down into steps. 'I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...' What provides the steam for my little engine in this case is my steadfast conviction that this is a story which deserves its telling.
I guess the story from Tractor Supply is this: I was waiting on a couple. The woman looked like someone I knew, but I was confused. It couldn't be her, because she was not with the man that she should have been with. I thought to myself, "Well, Patty must have a sister..." These are friends of Tim's, from when he was a kid, and I didn't know them all that well myself, so I wasn't surprised about the case of mistaken identity. But then the man she was with asked about Tim, and I stopped to gape. It WAS Patty, and she WAS with the man she should have been with. Doug's lost so much weight that I did not even recognize him. "Is it rude to ask how much you've lost?" I asked, and he grinned. "I've lost more than 145 pounds." "Gees, Doug. You look like a whole 'nuther person." To which he responded, "Or maybe just half of another person." Wow. Just wow. They both laughed at my shock, and we had a good little visit, rushed as it was.