But later it really comes to me: it’s the year. Not 2015, but the cycle of the year with Natalya. Today is April 1st and some part of me understands it ought to be Easter soon.

I don’t know when Natalya thought Easter was. The Orthodox Easter is calculated differently than the Western Easter and while you can work out for yourself when the Western Easter is likely to be, the Orthodox Easter appears to be hopelessly complex. This may not really matter. There was still Easter. It was sometime. It was sometime in the spring, whenever Natalya said it was.

In a practical sense, I am not entirely sure what this translated into. I know this year I missed Pancake Week before the onset of Lent. I know there was cake for Easter. I suspect there were dyed eggs. I don’t have a clear memory of that exactly, and of course I dyed eggs in other contexts—that wasn’t something only Natalya and I did.

Traditionally, Orthodox Christians dye eggs red, but Nata walked through the aisles of the drug store. She knew what the possibilities were in the United States, that there were so many more.

And I think we died eggs together the American way, from a package with those little wire egg dippers. One year, we did that. I think I remember that. I read the package and together we worked out how it was supposed to be done. I don’t know when this was or how old either of us were or if we ever had the chance to do it again. But it was magnificent, being there with Natalya the first time she ever dyed eggs that way.

And I miss her. I just miss her so much.