"Obviously, it's a symbol that means so much to me, but it was out of my control. I couldn't do anything other than look for it, and if I couldn't find it, that's all I can do," she panicked.
In the aftermath of the category four Hurricane Ian hitting Florida, numerous people are reflecting on the traumatic loss of loved ones, homes, livelihoods, and hope. Ashley Garner, 32, a mother of three and a resident of Fort Myers in Southwest Florida, had lost her wedding ring outside her house days before Hurricane Ian had hit and had said goodbye to it forever, as per People. Just three days before the hurricane when Garner decided to work out with a punching bag which she hadn't done much, she removed and placed the ring on a chair inside the garage, per Insider. "So I took off all of my rings, completely forgot because that's not normal for me to take off my rings. I sleep with them — I don't take them off," Garner said. The next day, she realized her ring was missing and the chair had been moved and when she went to look for it, she only found two other rings, not her wedding ring, Garner said. "Obviously, it's a symbol that means so much to me, but it was out of my control. I couldn't do anything other than look for it, and if I couldn't find it, that's all I can do," she panicked.
"I just accepted that it was gone. It was only a thing. It's replaceable, and I just let it go. We knew the hurricane was coming, so we just kind of said goodbye," she told the press. She had given up hope that she'd find it again. She spent two days searching their yard and garage with the assistance of her husband and three young children, but the ring was nowhere to be found. The family searched for two days as Hurricane Ian moved on from Cuba and made landfall in Florida. "The storm's coming, if we don't find it now, it's gone, and I'm okay with that," Garner told herself. "I'm not a materialistic type of person. It is what it is, and I just let it go, and then I forgot about it." During the storm, the family stayed inside their home and once it had passed and the power came back, they immediately went outside to tidy everything up.
Days after the storm, about ten minutes into cleaning up, she found back hope. She was shocked to find the ring, nestled amid tree branches and other debris. Garner explained, "We're about 10 minutes into cleaning, and my husband is cleaning up the brush and the trees right next to the garage door. There's a pile of brush and trees, and he moves over one pile, and the ring was right there. I just sat on the curb, and I prayed to God and thanked him for providing and giving us a sign that there's hope for the community." She was in total disbelief but was very grateful. In a Facebook post, she shared that the discovery had left the sales associate speechless, as per ABC News.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Ashley Garner