My Turn: Kathy & Kris

by: Freddy Martinez

-Please let me tell you a story about 2 beautiful women named Kathy and Kris, our guardian angels who on this day and always, our hearts so sorely miss.

-As sisters they surely loved each other, as all sisters do…Forging an incomparable bond, one that would be shared by only those two.

-Together they grew up and married, and each made families of their own…And for Jeff, John, Freddy, Krissy and Gina, Kathy and Kris remain the greatest mothers the earth has ever known.

-Their beauty was on a plane that most will never reach, and their smiles knew no bounds…For to look at them in the bloom of health, was to be lifted off one’s feet until you couldn’t touch the ground.

-A happy life was theirs to lead, with families for whom to love and care…And never for a moment did their loved ones and friends believe that their futures they would not share.

-But then a pair of days arrived, days that forever will be imprinted upon our hearts…For on these days we all found out that of our futures they would not be a part.

-The two sisters had learned the unthinkable, in words that no one should ever have to hear…For they were diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and told that within a short time their deaths would be near.

-Now they could have easily decided to conceal themselves in pity and fear, seeking to close off the world… But that was the last thing that crossed their minds, in fact while she was sick, Kathy even gave birth to a baby girl.

-For as it happened to Kathy shortly after she was diagnosed, she was given the news that a baby would be hers to give….And in that baby who became my little sister Gina, mom gave a beacon to the world in which her spirit would always live.

-Gina remains the ultimate embodiment, of the courage and love through which the last years of their lives were spent…Years that were immersed in love and selflessness, the kind that ALS could never dent.

-As the days passed after they were diagnosed, the inevitable began to appear…For no longer could they run and play, or use their arms to draw us near.

-And when I would ask mom for help with certain things, such as if she could tie my shoes…She would have to sadly say to me, “I’m sorry dear, but you’ll have to ask your father to help you.”

-But these were not ordinary women, they were those who gave us birth…And even though they could not pull us into their laps, of their love there was never a dearth.

-For on their very worst of days, the ones filled with struggle and pain…One had only to look at their eyes and their souls would always gain.

-Their love and spirits spoke to those around them and this is what they said…“Our bodies may be decaying beneath us, but our love for you will always be present, even when we’re dead.”

-And so the days continued to pass and Non struggled to remain strong…She loved her baby girls more than life itself and could not bear the thought that they would pass away before too long.

-Friends and family were always present, going to see them and offer their help, whether outside it was cold and damp…And I’ll never forget how my uncle Vince, with his own two hands, spent the time to build them each a

-Dad and uncle Jim fought right by their sides making the best of each day, despite the fate they knew… I can’t imagine the pain that coursed through their hearts, knowing what awaited the women to whom they said I do.

-For ALS does not simply take a life, but attacks all who love those its sinister grasp claims…It is for the loved ones of those taken by ALS that we just as passionately fight for, because we know that they will never be the

-This is what Kathy and Kris gave to us, and why they are the best. The courage to fight, no matter what the odds, until ALS itself is finally laid to rest.

-For true to the words their spirits so often spoke, they remain with us like a sunset that never ends….And in their honor I say “Never Give Up”, and the day will come when victory over ALS is ours my friends.


I firmly believe that the greatest sunsets last forever. That’s exactly what mom and Aunt Kris were. Sunsets that bathed everyone around them in the rays of a truly golden love. I hope this poem does at least a small justice to what they and their struggle will always mean to me. I love them more and more each day and always will gain strength from that love.

– Freddy Martinez
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