I first spotted her sputtering on my porch, greasy silver hair pulled up an octopus clip on top of her head. She was agitated, angry. Anguished.
Two thoughts came to me at once: the elderly woman throwing a tantrum was from across the street, an in-home resident care facility, and Lexi was bouncing a tennis ball, right around the corner.
I stepped into the garage as my daughter burst into tears, and I noticed one of the paid caregivers, on the sidewalk, on the phone.
I ushered Lexi inside and waited for her custodian to come to my aid, blocking the entrance into my home as she pleaded and wailed.
I was filled with sympathy and alarm and useless; Russian words spilling on my ignorant ears.
Her minder approached and handed her the phone, and I stepped inside the house, locking the door behind me.
I wondered what kind of person locks the door on a confused old lady? Her mind was muddled, but her body was strong and she was forceful. She yelled after me; shook the door, rattled the knob and pounded until Zack climbed into my lap, visibly frightened.
Eventually, she wandered out of our garage, around the corner, the woman in scrubs trailing behind her and I tried to answer Zack's questions: Why did she want in our house? Why was she angry? Why was she crying?
I don't know but something tells me she was living in another time and space, somewhere far from here, reliving days at dusk, before she came to this strange land and became a stranger to herself.