‘Special delivery’ warms widow’s heart

‘Special delivery’ warms widow’s heart
One of Ron and Dawn Kremis’ sons displays the wind chimes "”...a gift from loving friends in Ron’s memory "” found by a Good Samaritan and delivered to her home, after being mishandled by the shipping company tasked with delivering the package.

“This is to the person who found a package addressed to me laying in the middle of C.R. 344 and you brought it to my house and left it in my garage with that note of it being found. No words can convey my gratefulness.”

Dawn Kremis’ words in a Facebook post in early December are but part of a poignant tale.

For the past three years, Dawn’s husband, Ron, had managed Econo Paint and Body in Austin. He’d stay there with his son, who worked with him, renting a room from some friends. Ron came home to Dawn in La Vernia every other weekend.

“So I’ve only seen him four days every month for the past three years; we’ve sacrificed so much,” Dawn lamented.

She said Ron had recently been diagnosed with fluid around his heart. She invited prayers for him via Facebook and several prayer groups. Legally blind after losing an eye in an accident, he also suffered with other issues, including a torn rotator cuff; because the family didn’t have adequate insurance, those medical concerns were not addressed.

While apart, Dawn and Ron spoke on the phone frequently.

“The phone was our lifeline,” she said, wistfully. “I miss his voice and his phone calls. He had a voice like Sam Elliott. I had just spoken to him that last night and he was fine.”

That was Nov. 23.

“The next morning, he didn’t answer,” she recalled. She got their son to check on Ron.

He had passed away in his sleep.

“Ron was too full of life!” Dawn exclaimed, with disbelief. “He had so many plans.”

Dawn contacted her Facebook friends -- “women that I’ve never met before, sisters in Christ, and they love me” -- and asked for prayers.

Once they learned of Ron’s passing, they took action. Without Dawn’s knowledge, they created a keepsake gift for her, to commemorate her husband’s life.

Unfortunately, the package did not get delivered to Dawn’s house -- at least, not the way it was supposed to.

One day, Dawn got a phone call from the funeral home, advising they had Ron’s cremains.

“The shock of his death hit me anew, like a sledgehammer,” Dawn said.

She wandered in a daze. When her son, Jeremy, arrived home with groceries, Dawn went through the garage and Ron’s workroom -- which she had avoided because it brought back painful memories -- to help bring them in. She just happened to glance at Ron’s workbench, and noticed a package there.

Thinking it must belong to one of the boys, she looked and noticed the package was addressed to her. On it was handwritten: “Found this laying in the middle of C.R. 344 last night.”

Dawn opened the package to find a beautiful wind chime inside, engraved on the clapper: “In loving memory of Ron Kremis May 14, 1961 -- November 24, 2017.”

Her eyes filled with tears -- of gratitude.

“Now I go outside and read my book and feel the sunlight on my face,” Dawn said. “The butterflies are on my flowering plants, and then the wind blows and I hear the chimes and I feel God’s presence.”

“I know from losing my parents that this raw pain will diminish,” she added. “You don’t live in grief; you journey through it.”

She is so very grateful for the support and generosity the La Vernia community has shown her and her five sons.

There was no life insurance, and the family has been living paycheck to paycheck. A benefit barbecue fundraiser was held Dec. 2 to help with funeral costs and other expenses.

“Ron would have been gob-smacked,” Dawn said. “He would be amazed and thankful because people are doing all this for his family. He would have been so humbled. It’s so hard to receive. It’s so easy to give. It amazes me.”

She’d still like to locate and thank the Good Samaritan who found her package and delivered it, lifting her when she was at a low point. She expressed her gratitude on Facebook.

“You truly are an angel and I will bless you every time I hear the music of these most special chimes,” Dawn said.

In loving memory

A memorial service in celebration of Ron Kremis’ life will take place Saturday, Jan. 13, in the La Vernia United Methodist Church.