Standing on that rain-slick street with our son in my arms, watching Abby drive away, how could I not hold myself at least partially responsible? We have been through so much, and despite everything we still manage to find our way back to each other, I have to believe it will be the same with this.
I know I let Abby and Joe down by being gone so long, but, how could I know that in going back to deal with one crisis another would find it's way to us? Getting that phone-call, learning that my father had cancer, and knowing that there were issues between us that had been left unspoken for so many years, I knew I had to go to him. In a perfect world I would have taken Abby and Joe with me, but, I couldn't and what I thought might take only weeks somehow stretched into months.
I know when I came back that I didn't see the difference at first. I was so glad to be home, to wake up beside my wife, to spend time with my son. Bringing my brother back to meet them, thinking our father's condition had stabilized, I wanted everything to be the way I always dreamed it could be. Seeing Abby in the hospital after so long away, it was like my world lit up again, and it seemed at first that everything was fine, but, it wasn't. I learned too late that it wasn't. Maybe I just didn't want to see the things that were wrong, because if I didn't see them then maybe there weren't really there, but, they were, and the marriage I'd left was not the one I came back to.
I don't know if I'll ever know all that Abby went through while I was gone. If she'll ever reach the point where she feels it's safe to discuss the things that led her to feel the need to go to the place where she now finds herself. In a way, it doesn't really matter, Joe and I, no matter where we are, the feelings we feel for her, those won't change. Neither of us can go back and change what happened, all we can do is agree not to let events in our lives pull us apart again.
Standing here now, with our son in my arms, watching my wife, his mother drive away from us, I have to believe she will find her way back to us. I have to believe that all of us are stronger then the things that somehow pulled us apart and left us where we are now. I have to believe that Abby knows what she is doing when she says she needs to do this alone. Ultimately, I have to believe that all of the things that brought us to this point, are nothing next to the love that binds us together, because if I didn't believe that I don't think I could take Joe and walk away like this. So, I'll take our son to Croatia to bury my father, and we'll wait for her. No matter how long it takes.