‘Who Are You?’ My Fiancé Asked
A freak fall changed our lives forever ASKED MY FIANCÉ
IT TAKES FOR I’LL WAIT AS LONG AS OUR LOVE STORY HIM TO REMEMBER Our wedding was just days away
Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I switched my laptop on.
For Aaron Field in the UK, it was morning, but it was evening for me in Australia. ‘How about now?’ Aaron typed. It was the eighth time he’d asked me to marry him since we met in an online chat room in 2011.
I smiled. ‘We haven’t even met yet!’ I typed back.
I’d fallen for Aaron immediately despite being on opposite sides of the world.
‘Come visit me then,’ he insisted.
Taking a chance on love, I flew from Queensland to Manchester.
Aaron met me at the airport and whisked me off my feet.
Not literally of course. Aaron suffered from ill health and rheumatoid arthritis.
But I wasn’t after an athlete, and Aaron never claimed to be one.
Instead, he took me sightseeing and amazed me by revealing that he could speak eight languages.
Aaron had a massive heart and a fantastic mind, and after a few more proposals, I finally said ‘yes’ at the top of Blackpool Tower.
‘I’m not rich or famous,’ he said. ‘But you make me feel like a million dollars. Will you marry me?’
Despite proposing a record14 times, he made it sound so new each time – how could I resist? He was the man of my dreams. I returned to Australia, tied up my life there and took a one-way flight back to my fiancé. We spent the next year planning our wedding and falling deeper in love with one another. I was so happy.
‘Can you double check all the RSVP’S?’
I said to Aaron one morning, before starting my shift as a cleaner.
It was just a few days before our small ceremony at the local register office.
‘Don’t worry,’ Aaron said confidently. ‘I’ve got it covered.’
Aaron edited his own magazine, so he was an organisational whizz.
But later that morning, Aaron
Aaron hadn’t a clue who I was
called. ‘I’ve had a fall, love,’ he
stammered. ‘My legs, they just went at the top of the stairs.’ I went home to find him in a daze. ‘I just blacked out,’ he said. ‘I fell at the top and woke up at the bottom.’
He had a nap, but woke with a sore head and he was slurring his words. Terrified, I dialled 999.
By the time we arrived at the hospital for an emergency MRI scan, Aaron had lost feeling down his left side.
I was told I had to come back in the morning.
‘He’s in the best place,’ the nurse said, as I fretted about leaving him.
Later that night they called to say Aaron was struggling to answer some questions.
‘What’s his full name, date of birth, and address?’ they said.
I was stunned. ‘He doesn’t know his own name?’ I rushed back to Aaron. ‘Hi honey, how are you feeling?’ I said. He looked confused. ‘Who are you?’ he said. I felt sick. ‘I’m your fiancée,’ I said, calmly.
Aaron squinted. ‘When did that happen then?’ he said.
I held back my tears and told him that we were due to get married in a couple of days. He looked blank.
Within 24 hours, my fiancé had forgotten me.
Of course, the wedding had to be
postponed. I couldn’t exactly expect him to say ‘I do’, when he was saying ‘who are you?’
Aaron was put into rehab for two weeks before being allowed home. He recognised me, but only as the woman who kept telling him she was his fiancée.
Every morning, he’d wake up and look at me vacantly.
‘I don’t know who you are,’ he would say. Throughout the day, I would tell him about our life, and the fog would start to clear.
The next morning, he’d have forgotten it all. Within a week, Aaron was rushed back into hospital with a severe headache.
Another MRI showed shadowing on his brain.
‘Your brain has stopped communicating with your body,’ the neurologist said.
The diagnosis of a ‘functioning brain disorder’ was little help. Aaron’s condition deteriorated. He struggled to walk and talk, and his memory was gone.
‘I know I love you.’ Aaron said. ‘But you’re like a stranger to me.’
I cried myself to sleep at night, wondering if he’d remember me in the morning.
When he didn’t, I told him it didn’t matter.
‘As long as you love me, you can learn to get to know me,’ I said.
But it wasn’t just me that he had forgotten about.
I had to show him how to get dressed, and even to remember to brush his teeth. I’d stick post-it notes all over the house with reminders for the day.
After watching the film, 50 First Dates, I made scrapbook of our lives together so that Aaron could look at it each day. It helped, and some mornings he’d wake up, give me a kiss and say; ‘Good morning, Tasha’, and my heart would melt.
But a few months later, Aaron tripped and hit his head. He now sufferes from migraines and needs a wheelchair to get around.
On good days, he can just about hold a conversation.
On bad days, he hasn’t a clue who I am.
Every day I wonder if he’ll remember me.
When he doesn’t, those days are really hard.
But I just tell him I love him, and hope that one day, he comes back to me. However long it takes.
Every day reminders