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"Gamma" is the nickname of Bertra Howe, the Bohemian Grandmother in THE HEART CODE. 


This is how she got her name:

Excerpt from Chapter 11

At the Meaden's Home for Dinner.

Estelle turned to Gamma. "Bertra, might I ask about the name Gamma? Is that grandmother in Czech?"

Gamma smiled. "No,no. In Czech, grandmother is Babicka.  My late husband name me Gamma, a sort of joke, when Martin in college."

She paused, looking to her son who nodded. 

"I like to help him study, because I learn too. One night, we were all together in the parlor, me quizzing Martin on definition of gamma . . ."

"The third letter of the Greek alphabet?" Jack interrupted.

"No, for physics. Gamma is measure of strong magnetic force. My husband, he look up from reading and make joke. He says I am "human gamma."

"What did he mean? You're like a magnet?" Jack asked.

Martin cleared his throat. "More like a forece field. The gamma ray is the most energetic form of light, and my father, who always was impressed by my mother's abundant energy, began calling her Gamma. Soon, so did everyone else in the neighborhood."

Everyone laughed.


Gamma is a metaphor for Mentor.

The person or people who have helped you in your life -

Someone who "saw" the whole you, perhaps even before you did -


It might have been a teacher, a neighbor, a relative (often distant), the kind woman down the street, the resident director of your dorm, a particular boss, an observant neighbor, the dude you rush past on the street everyday.And it is often more than one, though your lifetime, as your needs change


Sadly, we often miss seeing our Gamma's when they are in front of us.  When we most need a Gamma, we aren't really as awake and aware as we might be.  However - upon reflection, you can know who was a Gamma in your life - and recount what they opened within you - and rejoice that we each have these earthly angels who help us find our way, and ourselves in life.


And most important, a reminder of whom we can be a Gamma to - - passing on the gifts of seeing and perception to those who need it around each of us. 


Thriving in this life is a team sport. 

We need each other to be our best, and true, selves.


Who were your Gamma's?

And to whom have you been a Gamma?



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