Marrying for 25 years is an amazing achievement, especially when you have such an obvious obstacle holding you back from your life. The road to getting married with Down syndrome was not easy for Kris.
The couple now live in Syracuse, New York, where they enjoy the same simple pleasures as many of us do. From cooking at home to bowling and attending local dances, Kris and Paul cherish every minute they have together. Their 25th anniversary was on August 13, 2018, and at the time of their wedding it was considered the longest marriage with Down syndrome in history, which is no mean feat compared to the inspiration they bring.
Susan Kri’s sister admits she wants more people to see Kris and Paul as role models for people with disabilities. She feels that they complement the couple perfectly. “They treat each other very well. They always have each other’s backs.” she claim.
When the couple first met, they fell in love and Kris revealed she could look into Paul’s eyes and see her future.
Last year the couple celebrated 25 years of marriage and renewed their vows. Less than a year after their silver anniversary, Paul died at the age of 56 from dementia.
He remembers the years before her marriage to Down syndrome. The couple lived in apartment in a housing project for people with disabilities. He worked for them and was financially independent.
Paul works for ARC of Onondaga, an organization for people with disabilities. And Kris works for People with Developmental Disabilities, a government office in New York.
It took a long time for Kris to get used to life without her partner.
When we told her he wasn’t coming home, it became very difficult for her. She said they shared some good moments together last year. Before Paul passed, she said that Kris’ “presence was very calming to him.”
She admitted that “it will be a long time before she is completely healed but she is slowly getting there.”