My Son, Kristopher Schiltz

Kris and IMy Son, Kristopher and I.  It was his birthday!

I dedicate this endeavor to my son, Kris.  He has been with me and beside me throughout my journey into disability from the start until this very day. He’s been through it all with me.

I cannot imagine what went through his mind when he saw me for the first time after I lost my vestibular function.   I guess that’s not for me to wonder, that’s his and his alone. 

Kris was in Minneapolis attending college when everything took the turn it did.  That was early November and I didn’t see him until he was able to come home for Thanksgiving.  I wanted him to stick with his studies as there really wasn’t anything I thought he could do.  That Thanksgiving was one of the most difficult homecomings I ever experienced.   I was so frightened for him to see me like I was; I was frightened I couldn’t be a Mom anymore and really, it’s a Mom’s job to worry about their child, not the other way around.  But for Kris, he gave nothing but support and unending love and he taught me just how much he could do.   I couldn’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner that year much less want to go to the grocery store to get what we needed.  But Kris did.  Instead of a turkey together we cooked a beef roast.  Kris made the pies.  That was when I knew I had no cause to be frightened about still being Mom, to be worried Kris wouldn’t love me anymore.  Kris was there for me, still is, and just 6/10ths of a mile away. 

Kris was a cornerstone of strength as I endured brain surgery.  He was there to ask all the right questions that helped me make decisions, it was a family effort.  It was his birthday the day I went into the hospital.  We celebrated in my room.  I was scared, as so was he, but the love, support, and strength he shared is why I opened my eyes after that surgery. 

When a family member experiences the trauma of acquired disability it affects the whole family.  Everything changes from family dynamics to who takes care of who to watching and waiting patiently as the family member in trauma works their way through the many stages of which hopefully, acceptance is one.  The things Kris witnessed, was patient with, and took care of a son should never have to experience.  Kris endured all this and more with grace, with kindness, caring, compassion and love.  That’s a real man, that’s an amazing son.

Today Kris is a fantastic husband, a dedicated and loving father, provider and fighter for all things justice.  He is involved, he cares, and he works to make a difference.  He is my advisor, my technical guru.

I am so proud of Kris, so amazed by him, so in awe of his very presence in my life.  I love him with every fiber of my being and cannot imagine my life without his presence in it. 

This is for you Kris.  Thank you for all you are, all you do.  I Love You. 


Kris is 33 and Cherokee Marsh 041

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