I’ve had some people ask me why I’m going by Garcia Hejl now for my last name. Some understand while others roll their eyes when I ask them to use Garcia Hejl as my last name. I get it. A lot of you already knew me as Frank Hejl, not Garcia Hejl. Here’s the thing…a few years ago I met my father. It was the first time I ever met him. Even after that I’ve had a total of maybe 10 minutes of conversation with the man. I have his last name but other than that and some genetics, I have no real connection.

The family I DID grow up with, the family that shaped who I am, who supported and loved me and continues to support and love me? That’d be the Garcia family. My mother had the tough job of raising me as a single mother. Luckily she had the rest of my family to help out, but it was still pretty much all on her own. Between my mother, my Grandpa and my cousin Christi, it really shaped who I became as a person. The person you know today.

I’m 32 years old now. And being a true adult, I’ve really come to the conclusion that the person I am is a result of the Garcia upbringing. I AM a Garcia. But the fact remains I was given my father’s last name and I respect that. So, that’s why I now go by Garcia Hejl.

So, in the future, If I correct you and say, “It’s Garcia Hejl”, instead of rolling your eyes or scoffing, I hope you’ll respect my decision and have a better understanding of why. 

I know this post is a little gross, but I felt like I should explain myself.