Patrick O'Hagan felt it slip off his finger while swimming, and despite a frantic search, was never able to locate the Manhattan College ring his new wife, Christine, had given him as a gift.
He lost the ring on Cape Code during his 1970 honeymoon, and in the years since, Christine would scan the sand for the ring whenever they returned to that beach. "I always looked for it," she told NBC New York. "It was like a piece of our early years that was missing." Enter Jim Wirth, a Californian who spent part of his Cape Cod vacation this summer using a metal detector on the beach. He found an old ring with a name engraved inside — "Patrick O'Hagan."
Wirth did some digging around, and he was able to find Patrick through a 2005 memoir Christine wrote, The Book of Kehls, which went into detail about the deaths of her son and nephews from muscular dystrophy. In Chapter 9, she wrote, "I fell in love with Patrick O'Hagan," and that's when Wirth knew he'd found the rightful owner. The O'Hagans were shocked by Wirth's phone call, letting them know he'd found the ring, and so grateful. "If you wrote a book like this and put it in it, nobody would believe it," Patrick said.