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Man recreates wife's favorite anniversary gift after suffering strokes

Man overcomes speech loss to sing for wife
Man overcomes speech loss to sing for wife 02:26

Joe and Sharon Korst of Raleigh, North Carolina, just celebrated 63 years of wedded bliss. To mark the milestone, Joe gave his bride one of the best anniversary presents ever.

To fully appreciate the gift, you first need to hear the song – their song.

It's a Kenny Rogers tune called "Beautiful, All That You Could Be" and for years Joe sang it to Sharon on birthdays, anniversaries, and so many other occasions. Eventually, friends and family memorized it, too.

"She is the number one thing in his life," said their daughter, Theresa Kostrzewa. "And singing that song was the way to say it."

But Joe recently suffered two strokes, which left him at a terrible loss for language.

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Joe in the hospital. CBS News

"I have trouble calling my wife's name or the children's names," Joe said.

"So you lost the song?" CBS News asked. 

"Yea," Joe said.

"So I just accepted it and didn't really think about it 'til this past anniversary," Sharon said. "And then he started singing it."

Mostly unbeknownst to Sharon, Joe had been working hard to rescue their song.  When a line came back to him in the hospital, he jotted it in a notebook and listened to the melody on a loop.

"I wanted to relearn it and give it to my wife," he said. 

"Just like he always did," Sharon said. 

"Of all the things that he could have done, that was probably the most meaningful," she added.

The best present anniversary present ever – the same anniversary present as always.


To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com

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