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Money crises. A child's tragic death. Forced exits. The topics in this issue can churn up currents of melancholia. Few of us find it easy to live with life's nasty facts.

A personal incident: one night as my wife, Jeanette, and I lay in the dark, nearly asleep, she said, "Somewhere in the world, right now, someone is having a baby." Jeanette's tone of voice clearly indicated her love of babies and the process of having babies.

"Yes," I replied, "and today in the U.S., fifteen teenagers committed suicide and four hundred attempted it."

Jeanette was jolted. "That's the difference between us," she said. "I think of something beautiful-like having a baby-and you think of terrible things."

She was right, and I felt sad. What a drag I can be. I recalled author Walter Wangerin's recounting his courtship with Thanne, who made him want to laugh; she made him happy despite his "characteristic tendency toward gloom."

When I read his confession of gloominess, I felt relieved. I wasn't the only one. But ...

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