After announcing his retirement from the NFL in a hilarious advertisement for charcoal earlier this week, Vince Wilfork kept his actual retirement ceremony on the serious side, signing a one-day contract with the New England Patriots, where he played for 11 of his 13 seasons.

Among the topics the team and Wilfork broached in the news conference that followed the signing, which allowed Wilfork to retire a Patriot, was owner Robert Kraft’s late wife, Myra, and her touching relationship with the defensive tackle. One of the most heartfelt stories involved a piece of jewelry Kraft received from Wilfork while Myra battled the cancer that eventually led to her death in 2011. The medallion matched one Wilfork wears on one side, but on the other, it bore a wedding photograph of Kraft and Myra. (Wilfork’s has a picture of his parents.) Kraft said he wore the medallion through Myra’s cancer treatments, even as Myra teased him.

“Are you trying to be like Rick Ross?” Kraft said Myra asked (via SB Nation).

Kraft, who also spoke about Wilfork’s on-field tradition of kissing both him and Myra on the cheek at games, said he continued to wear the medallion for 11 months after Myra’s death.

Kraft’s latest stories of how close Wilfork was to his late wife complement past remarks Wilfork’s made about Myra. Ahead of the Super Bowl in 2012, in which the Patriots fell to the New York Giants, Wilfork shared several fond memories of Myra.

“I think our relationship was more than football,” Wilfork recalled (via NFL.com). “It was more personal. It was more family. Every time I saw her, we were always talking about doing something outside of football, whether it was something for the community, for the kid’s hospital, shelter homes or whatever it may be. I think we both enjoyed each other because our mind frames were so different when we talked.”

Wilfork added: “She wanted to know how you were as a person, what type of heart you had. She had the biggest heart of us all. That was the relationship we had.”

A few more of Wilfork’s personal relationships took center stage at his retirement news conference on Wednesday, including Wilfork’s longtime wife Bianca, who was practically a member of the team.

“She’s made more practices than a quarter of our team has,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said, noting he gave her the same ironman T-shirt he awarded to players who didn’t miss any practices.

Wilfork also brought up his parents, who both died in 2002, two years before the Patriots selected Wilfork in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft.

In what might have been the most emotional segment of the Wilfork’s comments Wednesday, he expressed his one regret about his NFL career was that neither his mother nor father got to see him play.

“My parents didn’t get a chance to see their son live out a dream he told them at the age of 4 I was going to be,” Wilfork said (via ESPN). “Physically it hurt every day. It hurt by the hour. Daily. Not a minute [went] by, but I know they had the best seat in the house.”

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