GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) For better or worse. That’s a vow a Texas couple holds close to their hearts, renewing their vows from a nursing home courtyard on their 50th wedding anniversary.

Two kindred souls, Ruth and Claude Dotson, with a tenderness, were thrilled to be saying ” I do” again.

“Oh, I had a teary eye,” Claude said.

It’s been one year since they’ve have been able to embrace each other.

“It was kind of hard, just looking at her on a computer,” Claude said.

Ruth has dementia. She and Claude, like many other families, have been kept apart because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They met a month before they wed, back on April 11, 1971. This date fell on Easter Sunday, and Claude’s birthday.

Now they live separate — Ruth at The Wesleyan Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation and Claude with his daughter.

For years, the family said Ruth made it known she wanted a big party for their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • Claude and Ruth Dotson 50th anniversary
  • Claude and Ruth Dotson
  • Claude and Ruth Dotson

“She was like, ‘For the 50th, I want everybody here, I want a big party,'” Claude and Ruth’s daughter, Nanette Hughes said. “And then when it came down to it, we couldn’t do a big party.”

The family decided they still wanted to do something special for the lovebirds’ big day, which is why they asked the nursing home permission to have a small intimate ceremony with family.

Though some memories may come and go for Ruth, she knew it was her wedding day. And she wore the same vail from all those years ago.

“I’m glad we did it,” Ruth said. “It makes me very happy.”

Their love is even stronger, the second time around.

“When she walked up, she said, ‘Well hello,’ like she had just met him and was flirting with him,” Claude and Ruth’s other daughter, Claudette Price said with a chuckle.

Not knowing if they’d be able to celebrate, it’s hard to hold back the tears.

“I miss her, I wish I could take her home,” Claude said.

The pair is making up for some stolen moments from the pandemic. Their love story is far from over.

The kiss that sealed the deal yet again was even more special.

Claude said this day was even better the second time around. Ruth woke up with wedding day nerves all over again. This time, their three children and several grandchildren got to witness their special moment.

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