Husband continues 39-year Valentine's Day tradition for wife with dementia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ABC/WTNH) - Ron Kramer has been refilling the same candy box with dark chocolates for his wife, Donna, since 1979.

When Ron and Donna began dating, Ron told KOAT that he asked Donna if she would like some chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Donna replied that she liked dark chocolate cremes from Buffet’s Candy Store. They didn’t know it at the time, but that answer triggered a Valentine’s Day tradition that is approaching four decades.

Ron went to Donna’s favorite candy store, Buffet’s, to find those dark chocolate cremes. The staff said that if he saved the box, they would refill it for him the following Valentine’s Day. This year will mark the 39th time Ron has had that box refilled with dark chocolate cremes for Donna.

In recent years, the tradition has taken on an even greater meaning. In 2014, Donna was diagnosed with Dementia. A year later, Ron had to move the love of his life into a nursing home.

“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 went on to express how important it is to savor every minute you can have with your special someone.

“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 told KOAT that she’s a lucky lady, and she knows it.

“I know I am. That’s why I’m going to keep him. He’s a keeper,” she said. “I married him years ago and I love him as much today as I did then.”


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