Not everyone is aware of this, but June 23rd is The National Holiday. My father made the designation in honor of his birthday one year. From that time on, he would remind us on the 23rd of each month, beginning in January.
The significance of this, this year, is that I am hoping to pick up my new car on that day. It feels appropriate, and would make me very happy.
Let me tell you why.
Dad bought me my first car, a VW bug. I had a church job at the time, but no car. My college roommate drove me to choir rehearsals and church on Sunday mornings, and picked me up afterwards. Dad wanted me to keep the job, but didn’t want my roommate to have to drive me around.
As it happened, I went shopping for a piano 11 years later. I found a Baldwin at the Baldwin dealer when I lived in New York. Dad knew I had been looking. Shortly after I had paid the down-payment and arranged for financing, he called. Upon asking what the balance was, he offered to pay it!
This was in December, a year after graduate school. He wanted the piano to be in my apartment for Christmas. He had his heart set on it. Baldwin did the best they could, given their delivery schedule in the city. I had the piano two days after Christmas. My dad was quite disappointed, and had trouble with the idea for the rest of his life. I tried to make sure he knew how happy I was, and told him that I would not have practiced on Christmas Day anyway.
He lived in Iowa. Although he attended seminary in Chicago, he just wasn’t a city person. So the demands of a New York delivery schedule at a large company didn’t make an impression.
In my hometown, the store owner would have closed early on Christmas Eve, loaded the piano onto his truck with a big red bow around it, and delivered it right on time.
“My Addy” is the name I’m giving my new car. For 11 months, I lived in a beautiful apartment on Cabrini Blvd. in New York with a single mother and her baby, Joseph. We traded piano noise for baby noise, and I loved every minute.
Joseph talked all the time. He invented words. Sometimes, when he would come out with a string of gibberish, I would just look him in the eye and repeat what he had said. The look on his face was priceless: “Wow! Somebody gets it!”
For one entire day, the word he repeated constantly was “addy.” He started the minute he woke up at 5:00 or 5:30. Around 8:30, he went to daycare. When he came home at 5:30, it was still “addy, addy, addy,” and he kept saying it until he went to sleep around 10:00.
If it works out for me to pick up My Addy on my father’s birthday, that would feel special. He passed away in 1991, but I’d like to think I could send him some happiness in that way.