There was a time when I thought I would never laugh again. I had wrapped myself in a shroud of grief and mourning and I walked through life in a daze. I lived with a cloud hovering over me, one that kept me in a darkness of my own making, one that blocked even the slightest glimpse of sunlight, because I was sure I deserved nothing more. I had convinced myself that I had failed my family, that I had killed them and my punishment for that was a life void of the joy that being with them had brought me.
Time has a way of changing things though, whether we realize it or not, and one day without my even noticing, that cloud disappeared. Over the years I began finding the person who had married Danijela all those years ago. I discovered the man who had been father to Jasna and Marko hadn't been buried with them as I'd always thought he had been, he'd only been lost, so very, very lost.
I laugh easily now, at the smallest little things, like at the apricots that seem to end up everywhere when Joe feeds himself. Or at the smile that greets me no matter how long it's been since he last saw me.
I can't say I'll be the same father to Joe that I was to Jasna and Marko. I'm older, and I've seen so much more then he ever did, but I'll be a good father, and I'll love him every bit as much as I loved them. I think that's all that matters when it comes down to it, and one day, when he's old enough, I'll tell him about the brother and sister he'll never meet, and maybe we can laugh together over those things which I'd laughed about all those years ago.