Emerald lane is the last row of homes after three dead ends to the right in a small working class neighbourhood beside a community named after soda. (Out there is a place called Coca-cola village).
I am visiting my favorite teacher, my other mother, my praying partner because she has turned 96 years old. I am a little sad because she is a shadow of herself and dementia has made certain we cannot walk down memory lane together. She sees me but doesn’t recognize me. She hears me but cannot comprehend. The only language she understands is the offering of special treats, a warm tone of voice, a lingering hug and a shared bottle of soda with ice on a warm day.
I am holding her hand as we watch television hoping this is not the last time I visit her down at Emerald Lane. Yet sometimes I feel she has already left me behind. It seems like the shell of her former self is really just a souvenir of a brave and vibrant life. I miss my old auntie already.