Every Valentine’s Day, candy stores fill up with people excited to buy a tasty gift for their sweetheart. As such, the heart-shaped box of chocolates has become a tradition in many relationships over the years.
However, even with tradition, a box of chocolates is hardly ever considered a remarkable gift. Sure, they are nice and tasty, but they aren’t especially thoughtful in the grand scheme of gifts.
But an old man from New Mexico would prove otherwise. Ron Kramer has given his wife the same box of chocolates for 39 years in a row, each year with ever-increasing symbolic value.
In 1979, Kramer met his future wife, Donna, on a door-to-door job as an insurance salesman. Shortly after he knocked on her door for the first time, the two began dating. Five months later, they were married.
Before their first Valentine’s Day together, Kramer asked his wife if she liked chocolates. She responded, saying she was a fan of the dark chocolate creams from a local candy store in Albuquerque.
When he first came in, Buffet’s Candies told Kramer that they would refill the box for just the cost of chocolate if he brought his box back on subsequent visits.
He decided he would keep the box safe in his closet for the next year.
Since then, he has made an annual pilgrimage to the candy store to fill up the box with his wife’s favorites. This year, a local news agency followed Kramer’s visit to Buffet’s. Before leaving, Kramer proudly proclaimed, “we’re not done with this box.”
The reason that this statement is especially remarkable is not because he has upheld a kind tradition for so long. Instead, it is because this tradition could end in the blink of an eye.
Unfortunately, Donna was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. The disorder progressed rapidly, and she was forced to enter assisted living in 2015. Kramer says that this was, “the saddest day of my life.”
Kramer still visits his wife often; however, Valentine’s Day has maintained a special significance in their relationship. The video below shows the moment Kramer gave his annual gift.
In a heartwarming scene, she remembers the tradition fondly. In the moment, the reporter claims, “you’re a lucky lady.” Donna responds, “that’s why I’m gonna keep him.”
However, Kramer is forced to live with the harsh reality of the disease on a daily basis. He admits, “she’s gonna forget me, she’s gonna forget who I am.”
Through tears, Kramer encouraged us to, “enjoy every minute you can have with [your loved ones], while they still remember you.” Although this is a heartbreaking statement, it carries a remarkable plea to love fully.
Our world can be turned upside down at a moment’s notice. As such, we should all aspire to love like there is no tomorrow.
So, go out and get a box of chocolates and tell someone how much they mean to you today, and every day to come.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.