"Everyone has secrets. The question is whether it is one that they wish to keep hidden, or to reveal or even want to acknowledge within themselves."
For many years I built my life around the secrets I kept. After I left Croatia and came to the United States I tried to put my past behind me, and the only way I thought I could do that was by never talking about it. It wasn't easy, I rarely stayed anywhere long enough for people to get to know me, my past was a secret I kept locked away, and in turn I remained a stranger to everyone. In fact, whenever people tried to get to close to me, or when it seemed that the outside world was starting to threaten the bubble of isolation I'd formed around myself, I just left.
It wasn't until I came to Chicago and began working at County that I began revealing any of my past, and even then I was very selective about who I spoke to about it and even more selective about what I told them. Carol was one of the few with whom I felt comfortable enough with to share the details of the day I lost Danijela and our children, with others it's enough that they only know that at one time I was married, and that I'd lost my family in the war.
I never used to worry about what people might think about me. I knew I was never going to be in any one place long enough for it to matter if I built friendships, the only thing that mattered was doing my job. Even now, very few people know the details of how my first family died, but, I'm no longer running from my past, and I've accepted that what happened then is as much a part of me as what happened yesterday, or what will happen tomorrow. While that doesn't mean I will automatically tell everyone I meet about my past, neither do I feel the need to conceal it from the world in secrets doled out to a chosen few. Those I lost are always going to be with me, and after so many years of denying the fact, I've finally realized that there is more to their lives than just the day I lost them. I understand now, that as long as I can remember those days, for those few moments I can almost feel like they are with me again.