The Dash and the Comma

Have you noticed that for each person you know, each of them has a favorite topic for discussion? One wants to talk about politics. Another is deeply moved by personal finance. Some need to talk about family relationships. Other things do come up during the discussion, but it always feels like we’re circling around what it is they really care about.



For my friend “Clare” the topic is religion. Fortunately, I love talking religion, especially with her. I am a novice. She’s a pro. There is so much for me to learn, especially when I’m trying to explain how I feel. At our last meeting, for her father’s funeral, we talked about “the dash.” The summary of a person’s life chiseled into a tombstone. You’ve seen it.


That’s more than eighty years reduced to a single mark in a stone. It’s up to us to fill in that tiny space with our understanding of a lifetime.

As the talk moved on I related that every time I recite the Creed during a church service, I am reminded of “the dash.” Except that it’s a comma. An entire life reduced to a comma. A life that changed my life, and the life of the world. Where’s that comma, you ask?

“… born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate.” (Apostles’ Creed)

Did you catch the comma? That little mark? Thirty three years represented by a simple comma.  The comma wasn’t even invented until hundreds of years after the person in question lived his life between birth and death. Yet a comma represents everything but the first day and the last days of that life. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day

I had no idea. Absolutely none.

Judy and Guy - Prom 1970

Judy and Guy – Prom 1970

On that warm April evening over forty years ago friend Rick and I stepped off the elevator into an unknown. As that unknown unfolded I realized how wonderful life could be. Coming from an uncomfortable relationship that had ended uncomfortably, I needed something. I just didn’t know what.

We climbed into a car with you and your friend Deb. On that spring drive around town you wowed me with your ability to hold me enthralled in conversation. I was captivated. We could have talked the evening away, and after that evening we often did. Who could have guessed that after all these years and changes I’d still want to sit quietly and talk with you?

The list of people who want time with me seems endless some days. I could have lunch or coffee with someone different every day. Beautiful people; educated, challenging people. All can hold me in discussion. For a while. After time with all the others I cherish an evening of just us. Sometimes it’s an evening out. A burger … or soup and salad. Maybe it’s time at home, with something we cook together. It really doesn’t matter where we are, even if we just head out for a drink at the Doggery. If it’s time for us to talk, it’s the best time.

Nobody holds my attention like you do, even after forty-plus years of Valentine’s Days.

Who knew? I sure didn’t.

I love you. Absolutely you. Grandpa Guy Havelick

I’ll be back!

I’ll think of something to say soon.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful life. I am surrounded by a loving family, and dozens of great friends. There’s always something going on, from reviewing the Clinic’s research to helping Judy in the RavensFire band. Most days our house rattles with the noise of grandchildren. A couple of times a week someone wants to meet for coffee, lunch or dinner. I’m blessed.

Oh, and the house needed some work. We had a snow day. My arthritis (and myriad other diseases) acted up. Every day another tax form shows up. I’m worried about …

Forget those bad things, I need to get back to one of the hobbies that has eluded me for over six months. This blog. Since the first of the year I’ve been writing, looking at Jim’s diary, searching pictures, and reading old letters from my aunt Esther. The blog has made it to the top of the list again! Perhaps I’ll reorganize the site a little, rewrite some of the older posts to add interesting comments, and regularly add more stories of my own.

Thanks for your patience until I get back into the swing of writing and posting regularly. You will see more here shortly.

I’m feeling better about it already!

Grandpa Guy Havelick