OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — How far would you go to honor a last request? One man in Kansas is on a seemingly impossible journey to carry out his mother's dying wish: that her firstborn granddaughter receive her wedding ring.
Dane Weller, who lost his mother this past month to kidney failure, has been dealing with anger on top of the grief. In between the time his mother's body was transported from the hospital to the morgue, her wedding ring went missing.
"It's unsettling, to say the least," Dane Weller told Yahoo! Shine.
"She's the one that encouraged me. If it weren't for her love and support, I don't know how I would have kept going."
Dane was especially close with his mother, Vicki Weller. She was a huge support for him when he experienced a tragic spinal cord injury a few years ago. Doctors told him he'd never be able to walk again, and Vicki became his biggest supporter, cheering him on until he took his first steps.
"She's the one that encouraged me," Dane told KCTV. "If it weren't for her love and support, I don't know how I would have kept going."
Dane was right by her side a few years later when she suffered from kidney failure, driving her every morning to her dialysis appointments.
Before she passed away, Vicki asked Dane to do one last thing for her: give her wedding ring to her first granddaughter, Jenni, 34, with whom she was also close to.
When the ring was lost, Dane felt the weight of that request come crashing down.
"Doesn't mean anything to you. It means everything to our family. Would you please put it somewhere and let somebody find it. It's just wrong what you did."
"It's not a good feeling," he said. "People understand when they lose people they love, they want to carry out their wishes, and I can't do that."
Dane won't be able to do that until he finds the ring again. He knows it was on his mother's finger when she was in Saint Luke's South Hospital, where she later died.
"I remember looking at it there on her left hand, which was very swollen, and I thought to myself, that's going to be a problem, getting that off," Weller said.
But somebody did manage to get the ring. When Dane went to get his mother's ashes from the Cremation Society of Kansas, they said there had been no ring on her finger when she arrived.
Weller has since filed a police report. Representatives from the hospital said they had no ring listed on the post-death inventory.
Saint Luke's would not give an interview about the matter, but released the following statement:
"Saint Luke's hospitals have procedures in place to minimize the loss of patient personal items while hospitalized. We are in the process of researching the events surrounding the missing item in question and are in communication with the family as we work to find answers and resolve the matter."
Weller hopes that the ring was just misplaced and is optimistic it will soon turn up. But he has a fervent message for anyone who might know where the ring is.
"Doesn't mean anything to you," Dane said. "It means everything to our family. Would you please put it somewhere and let somebody find it? It's just wrong what you did."