My teenager, working in a nursing home, relays nursing lore that bad news comes in threes. Is this true? she asks. I love that she thinks I may have this answer.

It’s not true. Bad news knows no numerical limits.

But braided in with all that bad news are also other things, too – whether confirmation of a longed-for pregnancy or a sunny day’s stillness, a warm bit of reprieve.

You might as well answer the door, my child,
the truth is furiously knocking.

– Lucille Clifton