Trouble Comes in Threes

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Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

A week ago we watched my father-in-law die from cancer. We were at his bedside when he passed peacefully. It was a moment imbued with love.

It was also a harrowing experience.

I don’t follow a religion but in the moments before he passed I tried to pray — asking whatever power that existed to let him let go of life. Nothing happened.

I texted a friend — a devout Muslim to ask that he might pray for the same thing. His prayer was answered instantly.

I’m still trying to process the experience while being as strong and brave as I can for my wife and her family. We focus on his forthcoming funeral as the point where we can hope to let go and move on again.

This morning I’ve heard from my ex-wife that my daughter has had a positive COVID test. At 16-years-old and in fine health I believe she’ll be fine — but I still worry.

Besides her wellbeing, our thoughts now turn to whether any of us were infected when she was mourning with us at the weekend.

We trawl the internet for reassurance. Symptoms might emerge for up to five days after exposure. If we can get to Saturday or Sunday we’ll be fine. Maybe?

I wonder if the dull ache in my head is a symptom? Did my last coffee taste like it usually does? If I’ve got it then we probably all do. Then what happens?

They say that trouble comes in threes. Will there be a third thing, or has it already happened and I just don’t know about it yet?

We’re each facing our own challenges right now. Mine might seem trivial compared to yours. It’s all relative.

If there’s a meaning behind our suffering (and I’d like to think there is), maybe it’s about us building resilience. Reaffirming that nothing can be taken for granted. Reminding us to be grateful for each day when things trundle along without event.

I’ll never complain about the boring and uneventful days again.

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A writer, dad and husband sharing his thoughts, wins and losses to help and inspire others. Say hello at

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