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A Fort Myers woman finds glimmer of hope in Hurricane Ian debris

Ashley Garner had come to terms with the fact that she had lost her wedding ring days before Hurricane Ian hit
Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 06:23:39-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Many precious heirlooms were lost in Hurricane Ian, from family photos, to priceless jewelry.

For Ashley Garner, she lost her wedding ring days before the hurricane ripped through South West Florida. "I was about to start boxing and I took it off," a way to take off the edge for the Garner and her family as this was their first hurricane.

In taking the edge off, Garner had set down her rings, including her wedding ring on a chair. The day before the storm, her husband Blake was doing yard work and in moving the chair, the ring was lost.

"I came to terms that I would never see it again, I just realized it was gone, the hurricane was coming and it was gone."

As the storm passed and Southwest Florida began to clean up and rebuild, so did the garners.

As Ashley's husband Blake began to set aside piles of branches and leaves he said a glimmer in the leaves caught his eye, "I thought there’s no way, I grabbed it, gave it to my oldest son and said take it to your mom."

Ashley was in disbelief, although she had already told herself she wouldn't see it again, she knew that when she found it, it meant so much more than the material aspect of it.

"It was just a sign from God," while she didn't cry, Ashley says she had an overwhelming feeling, "There’s hope and that we could rebuild stronger, that’s just how I felt in the moment. I just sat on the curb, branches all around me, looking at my ring."