Marriage can be a beautiful thing. Two people deciding to spend the rest of their lives together because of one simple fact: they love each other. It can also be a heartbreaking thing when one person loses the other too early in life. What is a person to do after they have lost their partner?
Many married people have the unfortunate experience of becoming widows or widowers at different points in their lives. For some it's after fifty years of marriage, but for others their time together is stolen much sooner. Luckily people who lose their love can at least hold onto keepsakes to remember their partner.
For a widow or widower, your partner's wedding ring can be a keepsake you never want to let go of, no matter what your future holds. That is why one of the worst things that can happen is to lose your lost partner's ring. That's exactly what happened to one man, who miraculously found it.
Patrick Waddell is a widower who tragically lost his wife Sheri in 2016 to colon cancer. Ever since he lost his wife to that terrible disease, he has kept something very special with him: her wedding ring. He wore it on his pinkie finger to remember her, or at least he did for a month after she died. After it frequently got caught on things, he made a necklace for it. As he told TODAY, "I don't know how ladies do it. It got caught and stuck on everything." He had a jeweler connect both of their rings to make a necklace.
For Patrick Waddell, it was important that his ring and his wife's ring stay together - a fate that they themselves unfortunately couldn't follow themselves. He told TODAY, ""I needed to keep them together."
Patrick Waddell had no intention of ever taking off the two rings. For him, they were a constant reminder of his past love, no matter what his future would hold. The plan would be to wear the necklace forever, unfortunately, an unforeseen accident would get in the way of those plans. Patrick Waddell was on vacation with his two daughters, Mackenzie and Madison. They are 11 and 8 respectively. Disaster struck when the clasp on the necklace came undone.
Waddell noticed the necklace was gone. You might expect that he immediately freaked out, but he was actually quite calm. As he explained to TODAY, "I know that's hard for some people to understand. 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."
Even though Waddell wasn't heartbroken over losing the ring, he took steps to try to retrieve it. He went on Facebook to make a post in hopes for help. "If anyone picked them up, I can't begin to tell you what it would mean to get them back." That post was shared 43,000 times. Luckily someone found the rings in a parking lot and returned them. Waddell was ecstatic. On his Facebook page he wrote, "God is great! I can foresee a jeweler asking to fix them and make them well again. To which I'll say the rings are like a marriage. They're real. They aren't perfect, but every flaw tells a story."
Waddell now plans to hang the necklace in his home instead of wearing it out anymore. He believes that there is a purpose for everything, and the purpose of him losing the ring was as a reminder of his relationship with Sheri.