"Luka, you have to move on with your life, you have to find someone else to love, start a new family. One day you'll find someone you'll love as much as you loved Danijela, who'll love you as she loved you, you'll see."
In those early months after I returned to their home, my parents repeated those words often, anything to find a way to break through the depression that I wore as a second skin. In those early months nothing mattered to me, I avoided both friends and family, choosing instead to live in the past. I forced myself to re-live those final hours of my wife and children's lives as if I could somehow do something differently and change the outcome. No matter what I did, no matter how many times I went over that day in my head, it always ended up the same. I reached the point where I could call up each image as if it were a snapshot, from my baby boy's hand as he reached through the rungs of his crib, making his last plea for help before death claimed him. To my wife's face as I told her that her of his death, but, none so clear as those of my little girl's face as I fought to keep her alive, and then her face as I knew I had failed her. How was I to believe that I could just move on and find someone to replace them?
It took me fourteen years to find my way back to Abby, and while what we have is nothing like what I had with Danijela, it is enough. I don't think my parents intentionally lied to me, I just think they didn't understand what Danijela and I had between us, they couldn't understand that our bond didn't end with her death. Abby and I have something Danijela and I didn't and in a way, I think it's enough, though I know I'll always miss my first love.
When our son Joe came, I knew he would not replace the places in my heart that Marko and Jasna held, but I found room for him and that is what mattered. So, no, Mama and Tata, I didn't find someone to love in the way I loved Danijela, but, I did find room in my heart to love again, and after far too many years of living in the past, I've finally started looking to the future, and I think that's what you wanted me to do all along.