A devoted husband has gifted his wife the same box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day since 1979.
Ron Kramer, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, told KOAT that the 39-year Valentine’s Day tradition began when he asked his then-girlfriend Donna if she would like him to get her chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Donna said yes, telling Ron that she liked the dark chocolate cremes sold at Buffet’s Candy Store — a gourmet candy shop in the Albuquerque area that had been around since the 1950s.
Ron, taking Donna’s request into account, went to Buffet’s to purchase the dark chocolate cremes. The store’s staff told him that if he returned to the store with the empty box, they would refill it on Valentine’s Day the following year.
The box of candy, which cost $13 when Ron first bought it in 1979, is now worth $41. But he insists the candy is worth every penny.
“It’s awful good candy,” he said. “It’s worth every dime of it.”
This tradition took on a special meaning in recent years after doctors diagnosed Donna with dementia in 2014. The following year, Ron had to put his wife in 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 stressed the importance of cherishing those special moments with loved ones.
“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.”
For now, Donna still remembers that moment from 1979 and considers herself a lucky lady.
“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.”