I am 40 years old and until recently a single father. A little over a year and a half ago, I met a woman who totally changed my perspective on life. I’d never believed in soul mates, but she made me a believer. We could complete each other’s sentences and had the kind of love that I’d never felt for anyone. After six months we bought a house together, merged families, and I proposed. Three months ago my fiancée had a major stroke, lost all function on one side of her body, lost her speech, and is disabled. She will likely never return to work or the life she had. She can now walk some and has regained some speech, but it is limited. Her arm still has no function. This has created a future that I had not envisioned nor signed up for. Every day is a reminder of what once was, and so is a constant source of hurt and pain. I am committed for at least a year, which is how long I knew her before her stroke, to assist her in regaining as normal a life as possible. But I cannot envision going through the rest of my life like this. I know she will be devastated if I leave, but I will be devastated if I stay. Additionally, I do not think it fair to my own child, who has a limited number of years remaining at home. This is a tragedy no matter what choice is made. I welcome your thoughts.
—Life Changes in a Minute