Judy Watson and her great-granddaughter Avery Yau.

Our sweet, sweet granddaughter entered our lives on Sunday night.  

Her great-grandmother — my wife’s mother — left us on Wednesday night.

An unbelievably high note was followed by a sorrowful bass note, a 72-hour-shift in tone. It’s impossible not to look at this through a Beginnings & Endings filter, Yin & Yang, transitions, passages. 

Baby Avery came into this world, one of the first pandemic babies conceived and born during this planet-wide pandemonium. My youngest daughter, my baby, has a baby. Judy Watson, 85 years older, left this world after suffering from dementia. She made the world a better place; her great-granddaughter is already doing the same.

Taylor, Avery and James in 2021

Judy Watson in 1969

Avery’s birth and Judy’s death are a whiplash 2020 rollercoaster of emotion that leaves us all impossibly fulfilled and sadly drained — emotion sickness.

It’s profound, the coming & going, and yet I don’t know what it all means. It’s an ineffable message, the extremes.

There’s happiness; there’s sadness, an exit and an entrance.

This is 2020 and 2021 played out at the family level. This is finishing and starting. These aren’t two different stories. This is one large, sweeping tale that somehow we’re lucky enough to be written into. Our joy and sadness are all part of interweaving plot lines. 

We are the paragraphs, the chapters between Once upon a time and Happily ever after.

Rest in peace and love, Judy. Let’s take on the world, Avery!