This is one of those questions where my response has shifted with the progression of time, but also in respect to what situation it deals with. Had you asked it of me before my trip to the Congo I would have assumed you were referring to the fact I survived the siege of Vukovar while Danijela and our children lost their lives. For most of the years since I have felt that their deaths weakened me, for how could I possible be strong when all that I loved, lived for, was gone?
In the Congo I realized that those losses left me without the fear I should have had going into that situation. In the beginning I used that lack of fear to taunt God, hoping I might force him to take me so I could finally be with those I loved.
It's funny how fate works, and as I watched those around me die, and then watched another plead for my life even as hers and her daughters were at risk, I realized death wasn't what I wanted. I didn't understand that at first, I was too sick, the understanding came later, and finally I understood it for what it was. I realized that it wasn't weakness that had been with me for all those years, it was a strength I had just failed to recognize as such.
Every day since my family died I have asked myself why them and not me, only to realize it was never in my hands. All that has happened was part of a greater picture then I could possibly know, and all I can do is take what it presents to me and move on. Maybe that in itself was all I was meant to gain from it, the ability to understand that life is eternal and had I not lost Danijela and my children, the child Abby carries within her would never be. Are three lives lost worth one gained? That's a question I may never know the answer to, but I'm here, and that can only mean that one day I may be able to.