Patrick Waddell wore his late wife Sheri’s wedding ring on his pinkie finger for a month after she died from colon cancer in 2016.
“I don’t know how ladies do it,” Waddell, 43, told TODAY. “It got caught and stuck on everything.”
So, the North Carolina business owner had a jeweler solder both of their rings and create a necklace. "I needed to keep them together," he explained.
Waddell planned to wear the token of love forever. But on Saturday, the clasp came loose while he was vacationing in Myrtle Beach with his daughters, MacKenzie, 11, and Madison, 8.
When the single dad realized the necklace was missing, he didn’t panic.
“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.”
Waddell turned to Facebook for help with the search.
“If anyone picked them up, I can’t begin to tell you what it would mean to get them back,” he wrote in his post, which quickly went viral with 43,000 shares.
Waddell's prayers were answered. On Monday, he received a phone call from Graham Golf Cars. A good Samaritan who wished to remain anonymous found the rings in the parking lot and turned them in.
Despite some tire damage, the bands were still fused together.
“God is great!” Waddell wrote in a Facebook post that showed him reunited with the rings. “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 believes there is a purpose for everything you go through in life. In this case, losing the rings was an opportunity from God to talk about Sheri and their marriage.
"Sheri lit up a room. Everyone wanted to talk to her," Waddell told TODAY. "There isn’t a moment I don’t think about her in some way."
As for the rings, Waddell will be hanging them in a shadow box in his home.
"I can't bear the thought of losing them again," he said.