Your Name Day

Blog 2488 – 08.17.2022

Your Name Day

Most often we refer to the anniversary of the day that we were born as our birthday. In the long running award winning HBO series Game of Thrones and the books that inspired it, the term used for birthday is name day. From the legend of the first man Adam, whom His Father named Adam because he made him from the red clay, it has been a tradition with only a few exceptions that children are officially named on their arrival day.

I had long planned to name my first son Jonathan David, more than twenty years before his arrival. It was quite a campaign convincing his mother Linda Lee that only succeeded after we agreed, since he might not have his grandpas long, to give our boy their names as well – Jonathan David James Wallace White. Quite a long name for such a little guy who when he was fully grown decided that even Jonathan was a bit long for daily use. To this day his wife and friends all just call him Jay.

My daughter’s mother, Sandra, had picked out her name also a long time before she arrived, Emily Elaine. Emily was born ten years before her brother Jonathan and passed ten years ago at aged thirty-two. She never got to name a baby of her own, but did give birth to several original songs.

You will find a link to one of them at the end of this blog.

I am currently watching for the umpteenth time another more recent HBO series that alas was cancelled after it’s first season, The Time Traveler’s Wife. I was even inspired to re-read the book because of the series. I had forgotten how much fuller and more detailed the book was than the movie that I have watched so many times that I have almost all of the dialogue memorized.

There is one time travel device that I do not recall being in either the book or the movie. Henry tells the young girl Claire on his third visit with her in the clearing near her home when she asks him: “Why did your mom stop singing?” And “Why are you sad?” that he will answer both those questions in the future, but not right then. Claire is twenty when Henry meets her for the first time, chronologically for him, though he visited Claire in the clearing one hundred and fifty-two times till she was eighteen. On their third date by younger Henry’s reckoning, he takes her to the library where he works. It is closed. Henry has a key. There amid all the volumes he pulls a collection box from the shelve with his name, Henry DeTamble, on it, containing clippings and tapes of his famous opera singer mom, Annette Davidson DeTamble who died suddenly when he was eight. She was decapitated in a terrible car accident and young Henry witnessed that terrible tragedy first when it happened and countless other times from every possible angle being drawn back to witness at every age, yet being unable to change it.

Henry asks Claire if she would like to hear his mom sing, plays a tape and pushes the stop button at the end of a song. Then he asks Claire if she would like to meet his mom? She says that is impossible, to which Henry says maybe not entirely, then asks Claire if there is a question that she would like to ask his mom. Claire thinks a moment then says she would ask her, “How the hell do couples stay together?” Henry says that often after a curtain call his mother would answer a few questions from the audience and that he had never listened to this particular tape hoping it might contain a message from his mom to his future wife who had not even been born when she made the recording.

Henry turns the recorder on again and hears his mom say, “I met a young man before the concert today who asked me to answer a question his girlfriend wanted to ask me: “How the hell do couples stay together? Well, Claire Abshire, they don’t. All relationships end. We are only together for a time and then parted. But as hard as that parting is the hurt is worth it so I say, just get the hell to it.” Henry knew he would somehow find a way to introduce his mom to the second great love of his life and he did.

Today is my wife’s sister Sarah’s name day. Sarah is my sister too and I wish her and everyone who shares this name day – that they know if ever so briefly a love that is true as my sweet Emily did in the last months of her life. She found her “this much is true” with Toby Harris, the sax-man.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

True performed by Dancing with Spock – Original song – LIVE at MelonHead + Friends

True performed by Dancing with Spock – Original song – LIVE at MelonHead + Friends

Author’s Note:

I do try to correct my errors and omissions when I see them. August 17 is not my Sister Sarah’s name day. It is August 24. I apologized to her as I do to you for the mistake.

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