The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things we can ever face. In the midst of the gray and darkness of grief, the only comfort comes from tokens of remembrance.
It’s in the form of wedding rings for Patrick Waddell, rings he and his wife Sheri had exchanged for 16 years before colon cancer took her life. Since Sheri died in 2016, he has been using the soldered rings on a chain around his neck.
“Sheri lit up a room. Everyone wanted to talk to her,” Patrick remembers. “There isn’t a moment I don’t think about her in some way.” After all, it’s a part of his heart. This piece, unfortunately, went missing in July, when the North Carolina dad took his daughters MacKenzie, 11, and Madison, 8, to visit Myrtle Beach. But he stayed calm, surprisingly.
“I know that’s hard for some people to understand,” he said. “But Sheri lives in my heart. I love my rings, but if I never found them, it’s not like I lost her. You got to let go, and let God. I just knew they would find their way back.” Still, Patrick wanted them back— and he had to try. He needed help, so he asked everyone on Facebook in the area to be on the lookout. “If anyone picked them up I can’t begin to tell you what it would mean to get them back,” he posted. Thousands came and shared the post, which went viral quickly.
When Patrick received a call from Graham Golf Cars a few days later, he couldn’t believe what he was about to hear. They had their rings! They were spotted laying in the parking lot by an anonymous Good Samaritan, but they did not think they were real. When they saw Patrick’s Facebook post, however, they changed their minds, and went back to tell an employee. Tires left the jewelry a little battered, but they were still intact, which was what Patrick was concerned about.
“I can get a jeweler to fix and to restore them. To which I’ll say the rings are like a marriage. They’re real. They aren’t perfect, but every flaw tells a story. In all the highs and all the lows, the journey is what molds the partnership and all the imperfections make them perfect.”