Abby and I had been together on and off for almost seven years at the time that she agreed to become my wife. I'm not sure that what we had between us would ever have been considered a normal relationship, we both carried too much baggage into it for us to even consider something like that, but, we always loved each other, even when, during the worst times, we tried to deny it.
Both Abby and I had been married before, but, our experiences with marriage couldn't have been more different than the lives we had lived prior to them. Where I was raised in a stable Catholic family by two loving parents, Abby's childhood was one marked by the chaos of an absent father and a bi-polar mother. Where my first wife was also my first love, as well as a woman who shared my hopes of re-creating what my parents had with their marriage, Abby's seems to have been simply a way to escape the life she had been dealt. Had my family not been killed in Vukovar during the war, I have no doubt Danijela and I would still be married today. As sure as I am of that, I know too, we would both have remained together until one or the other's time on this earth came to a natural end. This too marked a difference between Abby and I, as her first marriage ended in a bitter divorce that would continue to cause financial problems for her for many years after the ink had dried on the papers that severed it.
The first time that Abby and I tried to make things work between us, was not good. Maybe it was too soon for either of us to have been thinking about entering into a serious relationship, or maybe it was just that there were things in our own pasts that we had to come to terms with before we could start on a new life. Or maybe my killing a man on our first date was a sign we should have heeded from the start. Whatever the reason, we separated with words meant to wound, words we both regretted too late to call back.
It took years for us to find our way back to each other, and during that time we renewed our friendship, watched as one or the other stumbled into and out of relationships that could never be, and in my case faced death. I'm not sure that either of us consciously made the decision to become a couple again, things kind of just happened and before either of realized it, it had happened. Then, when Abby discovered she was pregnant we knew we had to begin to look at what we were doing more seriously. I don't think it was until that moment that Abby decided she was not going to have the abortion that I truly knew we were where we were on the path supposed to be on.
On the day she agreed to become my wife I allowed myself to believe that anything was possible if you wanted it bad enough. I won't say that everything since that day has been perfect, far from it, but we're working things through, and with all that has happened, Abby and I have made the decision to leave Chicago. We've decided to walk away from the reminders of the mistakes we've both made and start fresh, in a new place where no one knows what we've been through, where we don't have to prove anything to anyone but ourselves. I think maybe we can make it work this time, I know we're both willing to try, for Joe, for each other, but most importantly, for ourselves.