As wildfires rip through California, we are watching homes get utterly destroyed. Families are being displaced every day, and they're losing their entire collection of memories. According to CNN, more than 1,000 structures have been claimed by the fire, with 701 of those structures being single family homes.
Julie and Don Myers know the devastation too well, as their home was completely burned to the ground. The couple had evacuated, and when they returned to their property, all that was left was ashes.
“We had a fire safe and hoped some of the items in there survived,” Julie Myers said. “But the fire crew helped us open it and all that was in there was wet charred remnants.”
Their personal belongings were "unrecognizable", and it seemed as if absolutely everything was lost.
But then, Don Myers found something in the ash that gave the couple hope.
With the help of firefighters, Don and Julie sifted through their fire safe to see if there was anything to salvage of their personal belongings.
“The firemen helped us sift through them insisting there could be something in there and they found a couple other jewelry items,” Julie said. “So my husband continued the search and found my ring.”
That ring was Julie's original wedding ring. Don had bought her a new one for their 25th wedding anniversary, so she kept the other one in the fire safe.
"It was truly amazing that he found it, I thought we had lost it forever because everything else was unrecognizable," Julie said.
Instead of just taking the ring with them, Don decided to propose to his wife again, signifying a new start.
"He set it up with my son to photograph his proposal while I left because I was overwhelmed with emotion and smoke fumes. The proposal was icing on the cake."
To see a family whose material life was stripped away, then turn around and make their situation positive, is so amazing. We're wishing the Myers family all the best as they rebuild their life.