Sunday, January 6, 2008

Prompt 1.89.3d: Apocalypse/Realm of the Muse

d. Do you think you could survive an apocalypse? Would you want to?

I've lived through a war, survived when those I loved, those most important to me, my wife, my small children, had their lives taken from them for reasons no one can ever justify, I endured hardships I only months before would not have thought myself capable of, and imposed those same burdens on children so young that they still believed that their Mama and Tata could protect them from whatever harm might befall them. 

If only they knew how wrong they were.  If only they knew what a failure I would be in that one task that I had always sworn I would be there to do.

What father doesn't promise his child that he will look after them?  From the moment they are old enough to walk we are there to see that no harm comes to them, picking them up when they fall, kissing away scraped knees and bumps on the head.  But, how do you protect them from days spent huddled under mounds of blankets because you lack electricity, from rationed water and meals of little more then turnips and onions in hot water.  How do you protect them from unseen snipers and bombs falling from the sky?

I couldn't, but, while I failed them somehow I found something deep within myself that refused to let me join them in death.  Something that forced me to go on when all I wanted to do was lay down beside them, and let death find it's way to me too. It wasn't for lack of trying, and over the years it seems I have cheated death repeatedly only to watch others around me die in my place. I suppose for this reason alone I have to believe I could survive an Apocalypse, but, there is a difference in my life now that hasn't been there for far too many years, you see, I no longer seek death.

I'm a husband again, and a father to my son, Joe, and for those reasons I know I will cling to life with every fiber of my being.  As I did for Danijela, for Jasna, and for our baby, Marko, I will find ways to offer them hope when there seems none to give, I will be the strength they need to endure whatever hardships confront us, that's my role in life, it's what I do.

So, yes, I will survive, we will survive...


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