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Friends, family remember Kristina Schlegel
Feb 21, 2007 12:00 am
Friends and family of well loved Mt. Juliet mother, wife and friend Kristina Schlegel gathered Friday to celebrate her life.
A fierce battle since June 2006 against an aggressive breast cancer ended Valentine's Day when Kristina died at home. Friends and family say Jesus wanted her as his Valentine.
She was 33-years-old. Kristina leaves behind husband John and daughters Emily, 4, and Abby, who turned two years old the day before her mother died. Legions of friends, and even strangers who heard her story and were touched, also mourn her passing. Those who were fortunate to know Kristina will never forgot her determination and unwavering faith.
"We celebrate her life," John said. "Kristina truly believed in the Scriptures as actual literal words. She recognized she's never going to die, she's just not on earth. She leaves a legacy and it was never about her, but about glorifying God."
Kristina was diagnosed in June with breast cancer and soon learned it had already invaded her lungs and lymph nodes. It was Stage 4. During her treatment, her friends surrounded her and there were weekly prayer meetings with Kristina. Kristina never gave up hope and in October walked arm in arm with at least 70 local supporters in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. They wore pink T-shirts imprinted with Bible verse Psalm 118:17, "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord," and their team name Kristina's Krusaders. Kristina's Krusaders raised nearly $6,000 for research.
And while money raised that weekend will one day find a cure, it was not in time for Kristina. She underwent three different chemotherapy's, according to friend Stephanie Bradshaw who lives in Lebanon. They met four years ago and became best friends.
"She even underwent a trial chemotherapy," Stephanie said. "She was hoping, believing and trusting she would be healed. She kept that thought until just two weeks ago."
Stephanie said her friend spent a long spell in the hospital recently and doctors told her there was nothing else to do.
"She decided to go home," Stephanie said. "She wanted to be home with her daughters and her husband."
Friends say Kristina's mother Dean Mason never left her side. Her father Johnny was steadfast for his daughter, they noted.
"She was the funniest person I know," Stephanie said. "She kept that sense of humor almost until the end. We had some very sweet times those last days."
Those who remembered Kristina said her greatest desire was to be a Godly mother and wife and a good friend.
"She lived more in her 33 years than most live in a lifetime," Stephanie said.
This friend said when she met Kristina, she herself was in a "boxing ring" dealing with life issues.
"She was a person who always encouraged me and told me everything I needed to hear," she said. "My mother told me God was shaping me at that time to be a better person so I could be there for Kristina when she stepped into that boxing ring to fight for her life."
The strength Kristina showed during this final trial on earth impacted a lot of lives. John shared Kristina's brother Keith came to Christ because of his sister's struggle.
"Kristina told me because she knew this, it made it all worth while," John said quietly.
And because Kristina realized she would never see her daughter's grown, she took special steps to build a bond that would endure.
"She tried very hard to teach them so much in the short time she had," Stephanie said. "To keep her memory alive. She wanted them to continue to follow in the steps she started and to be Godly."
Part of her legacy lies in words she penned to her daughters. John said in addition to videos she taped, Kristina wrote a letter to each daughter for every birthday up to age 18.
"I have not read them yet," John said. "She told me she told them in the letters how proud she was of them and to focus on the Lord."
All her friends said they take comfort in knowing Kristina's in a better place. They said her strong devotion gave her the strength to hold on and not succumb on her daughter's birthday.
"I think it was so appropriate for her struggle to end on Valentine's Day," Stephanie said. "She was so loved, Jesus wanted her as his Valentine."
Kristina's final resting place is at Wilson County Memorial Park.
Mt. Juliet News Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 754-6397 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org