My first marriage has been a source of difficulty between Abby and I since we first started dating, so much so that it was part of the reason that we broke up. I'd like to say that all of the problems that existed then were solved before we married, but, I don't think they were, and likely they never will be.
I know the hardest thing for Abby to accept about my relationship with Danijela is that no matter how much time passes, I'll always love her. It doesn't matter how many years pass, or how many years of marriage Abby and I have between us, she'll always know that a part of my love belongs to someone else.
I've never gone into much detail with Abby about what happened to Danijela and our children. She knows they died during the war, but, in all of the years I've been in the States, I've only told two or three people the specifics and one of those was a Priest who was hearing my confession. There was one time when I slipped, I told a story to Abby and a few others from work about Danijela. They were all talking about their first time with someone and how old they were, I tried to get out of taking part and couldn't. I saw the reactions on their faces when I finished talking about her, about us, some of them couldn't even look at me, it was like they didn't know what to say. Even after I tried to reassure them that it was a good memory it didn't matter. After that, I didn't talk about them to anyone, even though there have been times that I wanted to.
When I lost my family, I lost everything everything except a small black and white photograph of Danijela and our daughter Jasna. For close to 17 years that picture has been my connection to the life that I thought, that we thought would last for the rest of our lives. I carry the photograph in my wallet, and even after all these years I still find myself pulling it out once or twice a day, if for no other reason then to tell them I still love them. If I have any regrets, it's that I can't do the same for my baby boy, because, I never found any photos of Marko. To see him, I have to rely on my memory, and I dread the day that it fails me. Worse though is that I'll never be able to show Joe what his big brother looked like, and I hate that.
So, as hard as it might be for Abby toknow I still hold onto the photograph of Danijela, as hard as it may be for her to know that she'll always be sharing me with those no longer here, she knows I love her. Whatever problems we have, we can get through them, I know we can. We may have our rough patches, but, this time I know it's forever.