The Most Difficult Decision of My Life

ASIA KEPKA FOR TIME

Nate hugs a big blue ball with his teacher, Heather, on the campus of the Higashi school in Randolph, Massachusetts.

When my 47-year-old husband Fred lay dying in a hospital from a heart attack, I sobbed to my brother, "He can't die. Who will give Nate his shots?" Nate was our autistic son, then 5, and the injections were one of the myriad can't-miss cures we had tried in order to help him.

My husband died that night seven years ago, and I felt it was the end of the world for me, for our newly adopted 10-week-old son Joey and, most of all, for Nate, whose strongest connection was to Fred.

I learned to inject Nate. And when I decided...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!