She was born May 10, 1917. I met her November 1991. She met Jesus February 15, 2012.
I have no idea how to explain this woman my man called Grandma Grace. Words fail. She's was the first of my in-laws to embrace me into the family. She went out of her way to introduce me to Chad's cousins. She fed us every single chance we gave her. She loved me, she prayed for me, and she never failed to write and tell my man how proud she was of the man he became. She encouraged me to keep on keeping on as a daughter of the King, wife and mother.
The best part? I'm confident I am not alone. I would love to gather with the other wives of Chad's cousins... the other husbands of his cousins and ask them... was Grace the one that first welcomed you into the family? I think I already know their answers... and I think I know why.
Grace came in to the family later. She is not Chad's biological grandmother. In fact, before he came along, Chad's grandfather took a new wife. His grandmother had passed away and Allen Kreider took Grace Kautz to be his new wife. All of Allen's children were grown with children of their own. Grace had never been married, never had children. Her "I do" brought with it 7 step-children, their spouses and numerous grandchildren... an instant family. Not long after that "I do", God took Allen Kreider home to heaven and Grace Kreider became the matriarch of the family. She was welcomed in and loved by all. She never forgot that and often commented to me about the grace that was extended to her.
She remarried twice. And, in the end, out lived three husbands. Though she married and took a new name, she remained a Kreider by love. She lived by these words...
to whom much is given
much is required
... and so those of us who came into the family through love were welcomed with open arms and a warm embrace. We were never judged... never expected to be anything other than who we were. She loved us because we loved hers.