Even though they had to face a lot of obstacles, Kris and Paul proved to the world that their love is real and their happiness lies in each other.
Death does people apart and leaves behind many fond memories. Kris Scharoun-DeForge met Paul Scharoun-DeForge in 1988. After a five-year courtship, the two of them got married. Sure, that's what love's all about, but do you know what made them special? Well, they're the first documented Down Syndrome couple to tie the knot.
Paul Scharoun-DeForge passed away last month.— Don't Screen Us Out (@dontscreenusout) May 1, 2019
Paul has been married to his wife Kris for 25 years. The Daily Mail reports that Kris’ sister Susan recalled Kris being... https://t.co/1sAc7BCEPI
In April 2019, Paul passed away at 56 after a prolonged battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease that left Kris, 59, widowed. She recently opened up about the incredible bond that they shared and how they supported each other unconditionally during the time they were married. Friends and family of Kris and Paul gathered around New York's Adirondack Mountains to pay their respects, reports CBS News.
Deep in NY's Adirondack Mountains, family & friends gathered to help 59-yr-old Kris Scharoun-DeForge pay tribute to her remarkable husband, Paul. They became one of the first couples in the world with Down syndrome to get married. @SteveHartmanCBS reports https://t.co/txH4OUbc8Y pic.twitter.com/QVmYNWHq9M— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) November 3, 2019
"He got me laughing and everything. He was the one for me," Kris said. When they met, back in 1988, it was Kris who took the first step. "I proposed to him," Kris said. "I whispered in his ear, 'Would you marry me?' And he looked up at me with this big beautiful smile and he shook his head 'Yes!' And that's when I knew." However, there was a lot more to it than just the 'yes', as Kris's sister Susan Scharoun revealed.
Paul Scharoun-DeForge died last month after 25 years of marriage to his sweetheart, Kris.— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) May 2, 2019
The couple, both of whom were born with Down syndrome, believed they were the luckiest people in the world. https://t.co/jzGKV1x8da
There were marriage classes, counseling sessions, and they also had to deal with people who seemed to find faults. "Yea, there really was quite a bit of resistance. There was a feeling that it was like children getting married versus two very capable adults," Susan said. While this was the situation back then, individuals suffering from Down Syndrome find it difficult to find acceptance.
Kris and Paul Scharoun-DeForge, who both have down syndrome, were married in 1993 and continue to live in their own apartment even as Paul struggles with the onset of dementia. Photos by @DerekGeePhoto https://t.co/14uNKXSIjn— The Buffalo News (@TheBuffaloNews) February 13, 2018
There are people who have questioned Kris and Paul's love but even after so many years, it's safe to say that their love went strong. Though Paul is no more, Krish cherishes the love they had and as she scattered half of his ashes, she's saved the remaining half so that when the time comes for her to depart, and it'll be mixed with hers one day and buried together. "You were the best husband any wife could ever have," Susan said.
This Couple with Down Syndrome Proves That Love Has No Limits— LuMind IDSC (@LuMindIDSC) February 1, 2019
Some people thought that a couple with Down syndrome shouldn’t marry. But after 25 years, Paul and Kris Scharoun-DeForge are still going strong!#love... https://t.co/w8p99dIZmq
"What I hope is that other families will entertain this, you know, other people will recognize the importance of this kind of intimate love," Susan said. "People like us need to have a chance," Kris said. "A chance to find the man of your dreams, like I did." Back when Paul passed away, Kris was asked if she could ever be happy again, and to that, she replied, "I just lost the man that I love, but I'm going to try." As the famous saying goes, Kris, it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.