Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prompt 14.4: There is too much at stake./ True Writers

Luka and Joe with Niko

If I thought watching Abby drive away from Joe and I that night she'd decided to enter Rehab was hard, it didn't begin to compare with how difficult things would get once she revealed the rest of her betrayal.  Of course at that time I didn't know there was anymore to what had happened then just the drinking.  I know too that it isn't exactly fair for me to call her back-slide into drinking a betrayal, though I admit, it does feel like one now. 

I've never felt it was my responsibility to keep Abby from drinking, she's an adult, and more then capable of taking control of her own life.  I also don't think, despite what others might believe, that I should stop drinking just because she has a problem.  In the time that I've known her, I can't remember ever seeing Abby drunk. So, if she had the major drinking problem that she now claims to have, she was either doing a really good job of concealing it, or it progressed into more then it was in the time I was away. Now, if that is the case, and I'm not saying it isn't, there is no way I could have known about it.  So, yeah, having her tell me just how much she'd been drinking while I was away was a surprise, but not as much a one as hearing that she put our son's life at risk while doing it. Nothing in this world means more to me then Joe's life, and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. Not our marriage, not my life, not her life, nothing. I've already lost two children, to think that I could have lost him, that we could have lost him. I just don't understand how she could have put his life in danger like that.

I was separated from Abby and Joe for close to six months. As if it wasn't hard enough just being away from them, I was also dealing with my father and everything that revolved around his cancer diagnosis and treatment.  In an ideal situation I would have simply arranged to bring him back to Chicago for that.  Unfortunately, my father was a stubborn man and set in his ways, and he wasn't leaving his home and friends. I'm sorry if I couldn't pick up on the hints Abby might have been dropping in her phone calls to me, I'm sorry if I didn't hear what she wasn't saying because of all the other distractions going on around me.

I can't begin to describe how relieved I was when when my father's health showed signs of stabilizing.  I grabbed hold of that ray of hope and made the decision to go back to Chicago long enough to convince Abby to take some time off so we could take Joe back to Croatia.  I'm not naive, I knew that my father's illness was terminal, but, I wanted to give him the chance to meet my wife and to see my son, his grandson, before he died.  For the longest time I know my father believed I would spend the rest of my life alone, and it was important for him to see that I had finally healed enough to move forward.  I'm not sure why I decided to bring my brother back with me.  I think part of it had to do with the differences that have existed between Niko and I since I made the decision to come to America in the first place.  I don't know if I'll ever completely forgive myself for making those decisions, and knowing that Tata died alone because of them. Niko and I had been in Chicago less then 24 hours when we received the call of our father's unexpected passing. How could we know?

The loss of my father has been difficult for me to come to terms with, having Joe with me, and being able to reconnect with Niko and my home, my language, has helped somewhat.  I'm not sure if it's because I'd been away for so long, and then, having come home, and having spent the last six months with him, essentially 24 hours a day, realized how much I missed him. I don't know, I just wish he could have had the chance to see Joe, to hold him, and to meet Abby.

Niko and I buried our father before Abby arrived in Croatia, her time in Rehab was something she had to do for her mental and physical health, and while I wished she could have been here I understand why she wasn't. In the days after the funeral Niko and I worked at rebuilding our relationship, while at the same time taking care of the business end of our father's estate. 

When Abby arrived in Croatia I went to the airport with the expectation of finally being able to put aside all that had happened while we'd been separated. I was ready for Abby, Joe, and I to focus on re-building our lives together, instead of shaping it around work. I had all of these expectations for our life together and in an instant they were shattered when Abby confessed that she'd been hiding something besides her drinking from me. Abby confessed that in the midst of her drinking, she had slept with her boss, and I'm supposed to be able to just forgive that because she's been through Rehab and is no longer drinking.  I wish I could say I could do that, but I can't, it's going to take time, this isn't something that can be rushed, there's too much at stake for that. I'm willing to try and work things out, I don't want Joe to have to choose which parent he wants to be with. I still love Abby, but, I don't know what this is going to do to us, I just don't know.



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