Devoted husband continues 39-year Valentine's Day tradition for - CBS46 News

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

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(Source: KOAT via CNN) (Source: KOAT via CNN)

(KOAT/CNN) -- Each year, Ron Kramer refills a special box of chocolates for his wife, Donna, on Valentine's Day.

Their love story began in 1979 when Ron was a young insurance salesman in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was one month shy of Valentine’s Day when he knocked on a door and met the woman that would become his future wife.

“He saw me first in my quilted bathrobe. I was really sexy!” Donna said. “And what did I have on my feet? Oh yeah, Big Bird slippers.”

The two started to date, and when Valentine’s Day finally rolled around Ron asked Donna if she liked chocolates.

“She says, 'Yes! I like dark chocolate cremes and I like it from Buffet’s candy,'” Ron said.

Ron went to Buffet's to find those dark chocolate cremes for Donna. The staff said if he saved the box, they would refill it for him the following Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day will be the 39th year he’s used that same box to give sweets to his sweetheart.

And every year, the tradition becomes even more important.

In 2014, Donna was diagnosed with dementia. A year later, Ron had to move her to 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.”

“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.”

But this year, Donna still remembers. She said she’s a lucky lady.

“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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