Husband Continues 39-Year Valentine's Day Tradition for Wife with Dementia
A husband who has given his wife the same box of chocolates on Valentine's Day for the past 39 years says he's continuing the tradition - even as she loses touch with the world around her because of dementia.
Ron and Donna Kramer are a married couple from Albuquerque who first met in 1979 when Ron knocked on her door while working as an insurance salesman.
After the pair started dating, Ron asked Donna what she would like as a gift for their first Valentine's Day together.
She told him that she wanted dark chocolate cremes from Buffet's Candies, so that's exactly what Ron bought for her.
Ron was told that if he kept the box for next year, he could refill it with the same chocolates without being charged for the box.
39 years later, with Donna now living in an assisted care home, Ron is still using the exact same box filled with dark chocolate cremes to show his utter adoration for his wife on Valentine's Day.
In 2014, Donna was diagnosed with dementia.
Her mental state deteriorated to such an extent that Ron had to move his beloved wife into a nursing home a year later.
"She couldn't write, she couldn't speak, she couldn't go to the restroom, she couldn't do anything by herself," Ron told KOAT.
"She had to go into a home in August of 2015. And that was probably the saddest day of my life."
Ron knows that gradually Donna's memory will decline even more, which is why he's treasuring every single precious moment that they spend together.
"She's going to forget - she's going to forget who I am," he said. "So enjoy every minute you can have with them while they still remember you."
Donna knows how lucky she is to have such a special husband. "He's a keeper," she said.