Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prompt 112.10: The Writer's Way/ Love and Romance, A Marriage/Writers Muses

Be all my dreams remembered.

Danijela and my children have been in my thoughts a lot lately. I shouldn't be surprised of course, they're always in my thoughts at this time of the year, but for some reason, this year is different. For the first time in seventeen years I'm not finding myself awakened in the middle of the night by Danijela's cries for help, or the sight of my baby boy's lifeless hand reaching for the help that didn't reach him in time. Even my failed efforts to keep Jasna alive have not visited me, and I can't help but wonder why this year is so different than all those that have passed before.

I can't go so far as to say that my nights have not however been dreamless, and as much as I understand Abby's increasing worry as night after night I find my sleep interrupted, I've been unable to share the nature of this year's dreams with her. I can't explain how I feel when I wake and traces of the dreams are still lingering with me, but, then I see Abby's face, and I wonder if she somehow knows. Have I said something in my sleep, and if so, does she see my reaction to them as a betrayal of the vows I made to her when we were married? It's at that point that it becomes too much and I know there will be no more sleep for me, so I flee the bed, and her, choosing instead to wander the still dark house in hopes of reconnecting with some of those memories that the dreams touched on.

Unlike in years past, jarred awake, only to be left wondering about what the dreams that woke me are about. Instead, It's like nightly I'm being led through a movie meant to remind me of the good times that my wife and I shared.

It's hard to believe that we'd have been married for 22 years now had Danijela not been taken from me that day in Vukovar. From the moment we met there was a connection neither of us could deny and neither the two years we were forced to wait to marry, or my time in the military were enough to change how we felt about each other. Even now, I still feel it at times, and these dreams seem to be reinforcing that bond we shared.

In previous years, the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the death of my family and the fall of Vukovar have always been filled with dreams. No, check that, not dreams, nightmares. Nightmares that not only woke me, but more often than not had left me drenched in sweat and shaking, with few memories of their details. I could generally guess about the contents of those past nightmares though, nightmares have haunted me for longer than I want to remember, and while for the most part they have faded, there are times of the year, like now, that they've always returned. So, again I ask myself, why is this year different?

For so long I dwelt on that final day to the exclusion of everything else it seemed, and in my mind it was as if my life had ended with the loss of my wife and children. I think too I had reached the point where I didn't want to relive the joy we shared because I felt I didn't deserve that anymore, and by only remembering that last day I could punish myself for failing them. Maybe this was God's way of saying that I had punished myself enough, or maybe Danijela herself was sending the dreams to me as her way of showing that she's forgiven me.

Reliving the first time we met and those early times together, it shocks me when I remember how young we both were. We had no idea of what our future held, we didn't care, all that mattered was how much we loved each other, and how long we would have to wait before we could be married. Daniejela was only 16 when we first professed our love to each other, I was 18, there was no question of her finishing school and I had to serve my stint in the military, it made sense to wait, but two years seemed like forever.

We survived it though, and when we married I was sure there had never been a bride more beautiful then Danijela was. After years of having the image of her bloodied body burned into my head, these dreams have given all that and more back to me, and I can't help but be thankful to whoever is responsible for sending them to me.

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