Those who believe that trouble arrives in threes got some fresh evidence of that theory in the past few days, as the Boston bombings, a poison mail threat and a massive explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant made for a grim trifecta in the week’s headlines.

The Boston bombings were more than enough to shake the nation’s sense of well-being. The news that a Mississippi man had been accused of sending poisoned letters to President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., seemed a surreal complement to the dispatches from Boston.

Then came the story of an explosion at a fertilizer plant in central Texas that left several victims dead and injured dozens of others. The Texas tragedy rounded out a week of horrible news for America.

This week’s news from Boston and Texas reminded us of how petty so many of life’s daily challenges can seem when compared with the sudden loss of life. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted many Americans to reflect on their priorities, seeking deeper connections with friends and loved ones. We suspect that this week’s headlines have inspired similar reassessments across the country.

The aftermath of a tragedy is a good time to count our blessings. Those blessings are many and varied in south Louisiana, and this week’s awful happenings have thrown a sharper focus on things held dear.