No matter how many years pass, no matter how much I profess my love to Abby, there will always be a shadow a ghost as she once called her, hanging over us. Years ago I would have claimed my past played no part in what was happening in my life, but, times change, people change. I won't deny her importance in who I am anymore than I could deny her, for she was my life, she was my first one I lost my heart to, the mother of our children, and I loved her more then life itself. I still do.
Danijela and I married very young, she was just 18, and I was barely 20. At the time we had known each other for two years and we were sure we would spend our lives together as had our parents and their parents before them. We lost our virginity to each other, we welcomed two children into our lives, and if anyone had asked us we would have told them we were sure we would remain together forever. If only fate hadn't intervened, stealing away not just those dreams for our future, but, my wife and our children with them.
When I lost my family, I was convinced I would never again know love or happiness. I fled the land of my birth in hopes of escaping the memories and reminders of all I had lost, and I tried to start over. My life was all lies though. In those early years, I hid my past from everyone, secreted it away from prying eyes and lived only for my work, and if any got too close, I simply moved away. I don't know the exact moment that I decided it was time to stop running away, but, even then I refused to share my past with those I thought I wanted to be with.
All in all, it's taken me 17 years to come back to the place I was all those years ago with Danijela. That place we found ourselves without even trying. It hasn't been easy, even now, Abby and I are struggling to rebuild our relationship, but, I know it is salvageable. We have our love as our foundation and as we get ready to embark on this next phase of our lives, I think we can find the pieces to the puzzle that we were missing our first time around. If only I hadn't been so afraid at looking at the past, I might have seen it sooner, but, we'll make it, for Joe, for each other.
I'm sure of it.