Ion says goodbye to Nina one last time at her gravesite on November 27th, 2016. I had called Thanksgiving day in hopes that I could spend “Old Christmas,” the orthodox epiphany date of Christmas in Moldova held on January 7th.

Ion answered the phone. When I asked how he was doing he simply replied, “Bad.” “Why bad?” I asked. “Nina a morit.” He said. Nina died.

I was shook by the unexpected loss. For the next couple of days I was sure that I had misheard Ion. ‘My Romanian is bad, I couldn’t have understood correctly,’ I thought. But unfortunately, when I went to their home, there Nina was. This beautiful light of a woman was gone.

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