Tuesday 11 December 2018

Husband continues sweet Valentine tradition for his wife - who has dementia - nearly 40 years after marriage

Ron Kramer brought his other half chocolates in the same box from the same store for 39 years
Ron Kramer brought his other half chocolates in the same box from the same store for 39 years
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A man who married his wife almost 40 years ago, and now visits her every day in a care home where she moved after being diagnosed with dementia, has continued their Valentine's Day tradition.

Ron Kramer (77) married his wife Donna (74) in 1979 and in the intervening years he has been bringing her a special delivery of chocolates on February 14.

The couple told their story to ABC affiliate KOAT.

For their first Valentine's celebration, while they were still dating, Ron brought his other half chocolates from a local candy store at her request - dark chocolate cremes from Buffet's Candies in Albuquerque.

The store told him if he kept the box he could return the following year and only pay for the chocoaltes.

Each year on February 1 Donna issued a gentle reminder to her husband about the chocolates and he would retrieve the carefully kept box and return to the store.

Donna - who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 - moved to a nursing home a year later which Ron said was the "saddest" day of his life.

But he visits everyday - keeping a commitment for life he said, adding "I'll never leave her".

He is preparing for the day when his wife's illness will cause her to forget him.

"She's going to forget who I am," he told KOAT.

For her part Donna still  remembers all of their traditions - and has always exercised restraint with her special gift - eating only one chocolate a day until they run out each May.

In a heartwarming interview she told the broadcaster she knows she is lucky to have him.

"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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