Is there any question to how I might respond to this? How could anyone ever look upon the face of their own dead or dying child and not forever have that image embedded into their memory? It's hard to decide whose is the most difficult to live with, each carry their own degrees of guilt with them.
Markos are first, layers under that of his sister's as he was under his crib when I first found him. All that was visible of him in that first moment was his tiny hand, reaching up through the rungs of his crib as if somehow he hoped someone might see it and save him, though no one could, for I found him too late. Even as I saw it I could do nothing because I knew in that instant that he was gone and there was still hope for his mother and sister. I had lost my youngest, my baby boy before he could even turn two. How long had he clung to life with that hope of being saved?
Jasna's life would hang in the balance for far longer and I would have hours to struggle to save her, knowing that in choosing her I was condemning her mother to death. I think Danijela knew how badly she was injured even though she remained silent to me of the pain she was in. How could she complain, and risk her needs being placed ahead of that of her firstborn? In the end I would lose them both, mother and daughter, so alike, yet at times so very different.
The hardest memory of that night is of my unburying Marko, I couldn't leave him like that, even as tired as I was. He was alone and I needed him with us. From somewhere I found the energy to pull the debris from his small body, he might have been sleeping for the peace that was on his face. I wiped my tears from his cheeks as they wet them, using them to clean the dirt away before I carried him to Danijela. It seemed only right that she have her babies with her, and I placed him, as I had Jasna in her arms before laying next to them.
It was there that I was found when help finally arrived.