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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A Wilmington couple is learning that giving up isn't an option, and the husband and wife are changing their outlook on life after losing and then finding something near and dear to their hearts.
Wayne and Billie Phillips' wedding bands were more than just a piece of jewelry on their fingers – they were a symbol of their marriage, friendship and love.
But the couple thought that bad luck had gotten the best of them back in 1978. Wayne was gardening in his backyard when he looked down and saw something very special missing from his finger.
"So, I came back home to look for it," said Wayne. "I couldn't find it. I looked for it for several days after that; then, I said, ‘Well, it's just gone.'"
Billie was less than thrilled.
"I just told him not to worry about it that we would just go get another one," she said. "It's not the same, but we replaced it."
Fast forward more than 30 years, and Wayne and Billie still live in the same house with the same backyard and same garden.
But things changed recently when Wayne came across more than just some vegetables.
"I just happened to hit a piece of metal," he said. "I heard it clink on the rake, and I couldn't figure out what it was."
It turns out, that metal was just what he had been looking for – his ring.
Wayne says he was in the right place at the right time.
"I didn't know whether to run, cry, holler or scream, so I washed it off and came into the house and put it in Billie's hand to show we got it back," he said.
The Phillips not only got their ring back—they gained a new perspective on life.
"If you believe in something long enough and hard enough, it can happen," said Wayne. "There's proof."
The Phillips will be celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary Dec. 8.
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