Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Following Prompt 1.20.2/Realm of the Muse

Something is following you. Everywhere. No matter where you go, it's there. What is it? What will you do?=========================================================
For too many years I lived this exact scenario, and only in the last few years have I finally begun to find ways to escape it.  I know, your first question is what is following me, or was in my case?

Guilt.  Guilt over my failing to see the signs of what what happening in the early stages of the War for Independence.  Guilt for not taking my family out of Vukovar when Danijela suggested it in the early stages of the conflict.  Guilt over not sending she and our children to one of our parent's homes when the siege began in the City.  Guilt over not having taken them to the market on that fateful day.  Guilt over not having been able to choose between my wife or my daughter so that one could have lived.  Guilt over failing them and losing them all. Guilt over being the sole survivor.

For many years I allowed it to consume me, denying myself even the simplest of pleasures as a means of punishing myself for the mistakes I felt I'd made.  I refused to allow anyone to get close for fear they might learn the truth, or worse that I might feel something other than the grief I felt was all I deserved.

But times change, and I'm changing with it.  I'm slowly accepting that what happened to my family was beyond my control and am making peace with those losses.  For the first time in fifteen years I'm looking forward to what the future holds instead of living for the past. I have a new child on the way, a child with whom I want to share so much, and yes, that includes the memories of the brother and sister he or she will never know.  It's a start.

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