13 August 2007


They say bad news comes in threes. Or is it just deaths? In any case, that's one superstition I've never given much weight until a couple days ago.

In the past 1.5 to 2 weeks, a neighbor and two distant relatives have died. One was so distant I didn't recall ever having heard his name even though I actually met his illegitimate half-sister. The other was a parent's cousin, making him a 2nd or once-removed or something to me, whose name I've always heard said with his wife's: Novel and Newell, Newell and Novel.

Mom asked me, "How do you think you spell Novel?" a few days ago.

I said, "N-O-V-E-L," and then after a pause, added, "L?"

Turns out Novel's name is actually Norvelle even though I've never heard anyone pronounce the R. Apparently neither had my parents since they hadn't known it had an R in it either.

And then, there's next-door Larry. He's turned up in a few stray posts on the blog. I didn't know him well at all. Apparently he served in both WWII and the Korean War, but when I consider his passing, mostly I think there's one less person in the world who can get away with calling me Dear.

Damn, Mom just told me Larry died of esophageal cancer that he didn't know he had. Had he known, there's stuff like selling their house and moving somewhere smaller that he really would've liked to take care of for his wife since she's still alive.

And then, there's my aunt who had a stroke about two weeks ago. She's still in the hospital, I think, but doing ok all things considered. That makes four things though, so maybe there's nothing to bad news occurring in threes after all.


  1. I've always noticed the "three bad things" too, but I wonder if we just notice it because we look for it. I'm sure bad things come in twos and fours also.

  2. I think you're right. I had thought the stroke and 2 deaths were the 3 things, but then another death occurred and I started thinking maybe it was deaths in threes or that 2 more bad things might be coming.

    I'm numerically inclined anyway, so it doesn't surprise me that I'd look for/notice patterns.