Twenty years...had you asked me that question twenty years ago, I would have said that Danijela and I would have been celebrating 21 years of marriage. We would have been supporting Jasna as she experienced the wonders of her second year of college, and though I wouldn't know it then, I would have expressed my hope that we would have welcomed at the very least one other brother or sister to join her as she grew older. Fate has a way of playing cruel tricks however, and as much as I might have wished those dreams to have become reality none would play through to truth.
Twenty years...do I dare think ahead, take a chance on having these dreams stolen away like those of twenty years past?
Twenty years...I would love nothing more then to take Abby and Joe back to Croatia, to buy a small house near the sea. I would hope that Joe would follow in Abby and my shoes, that he would like to become a doctor as we are, but I know it is a choice he will need to make himself. I think if we do go back to Croatia that I will still want to practice medicine, and maybe Abby and I can open a small practice, tending to those who live where we are.
I know there is one final thing I will need to do on my return, and of course that will be the most difficult, and that is to return to Vukovar to visit the graves of Danijela and our children. I think it's important for Joe to see the places he will have heard me talk about for so many years, the hospital, the place where our apartment was, the city itself. Like so much of Croatia these places will have been mere stories up to then, and this will finally make them real, give them substance. I don't know if it will make a difference for him, or for Abby, but for me, I think it will finally give me the closure I have never had. Then again, maybe twenty more years is too long to wait for that.