This site is dedicated to the joyful life of Henry Ralph Chiaramonte. If he could design it himself, it would be filled with pictures of dogs (affectionately called “woof woofs”), garbage trucks, airplanes, and Elmo. It would have “Five Little Monkeys” playing in the background, and it would include a FaceTime feature so that he could give a huge Henry smile to each person looking at his page.
Henry was born on the 4th of July, an appropriate birthday for a boy whose parents had been married in historic Philadelphia the year before. Henry came into the world a few weeks earlier and a few pounds lighter than expected. Arriving healthy and happy at 2:44 in the morning, Henry spent his first hours snuggled up with his tired and happy parents before meeting the family members and friends who would fill up his life.
The early months of Henry’s life were spent figuring out what he liked and didn’t like. It took him some time to decide whether or not he liked baths (ultimately, he did), and he also liked looking at himself, listening to music, and being held. Henry did not enjoy sleeping on his own in the early days, which worked out because he was hardly ever put down – despite his mom and dad’s best efforts telling people it was time to make Henry sleep on his own. His other dislikes included tummy time and any occasion where Henry didn’t have at least two people giving him their full attention. However, this was never an issue because Henry was constantly surrounded by his loving grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends.
As Henry grew, his personality got bigger and bigger (as did his belly!). He had a very full and busy life. He became the man in charge and had a lot of grownups in his life to manage. Henry helped his Grandpa Bob run the Orangetheory gym businesses and keep up Henry’s house in the Poconos. When his Grandma Kitty was watching him, he knew it was really Henry watching her. Henry made sure she carefully followed his schedule and did the monkey dance every day before his nap. Henry’s hands were really full managing his Grandpa Ralph down in Maryland. Henry frequently had to send Grandpa Ralph a list of chores and remind him to get them done before Henry could visit (in return, they were allowed to eat doughnuts once they were together). Henry was a huge help to his Grandma Cathy. Grandma Cathy was battling brain cancer from the time Henry was born, and he was her constant motivation during physical therapy to make sure she was strong enough to hold him (even as his belly got bigger from all the doughnuts!). Luckily for Henry, his aunts and uncles didn’t require as much work and were always available for playing, giving great presents (who else do you get a giant bear from?!), and breaking some of his mom and dad’s rules about organic eating.
Don’t worry, despite his busy schedule, Henry took plenty of time for himself! He liked to stick to his routine so he could fit in all of his favorite activities each day. Henry attended school where he loved learning new things and making new friends. For a guy who loved rules and routines, school was a great place for Henry. Henry was also a regular at The Little Gym where he liked to run, climb, and jump. Henry was a learner and a doer, even though the two didn’t always happen at the same time. Sometimes Henry would learn how to do something new, but then wouldn’t show off his knowledge until he was somewhere else (like those moves from The Little Gym!). Above all, Henry’s best time was outside time. Being outside gave Henry more opportunities to come across people and “woof woofs”, both of which he would enthusiastically wave to and give one of his famous Henry smiles. If he was out in the yard with his dad, his favorite game entailed having his dad kick a ball high into the air and yelling, “UP!” while pointing his hand up high in the sky. Henry loved the swings at the playground and some of his favorite days were when his mom would skip work and take him to a playground with swings. If weather kept him indoors, Henry could be found playing ball with his dad or having someone build him a tower so he could knock it down and pretend he didn’t know what happened to it.
Henry’s legacy is a happy one. He woke up every morning and started his day with a high five, and he ended every day with a big kiss goodnight. He had fun wherever he went and brought joy to whomever he came across. His parents and family are committed to honoring that legacy and making Henry proud. Please join us in always remembering our beautiful boy, whether it is by showing off your Henry muscles, favorite dance moves, or participating in a Henry event.