Just before the new year, many Colorado residents experienced tragedy when devastating fires tore through the Boulder area. In all, the raging flames destroyed nearly a thousand homes. Among these was the home of soon-to-be-newlyweds, Michael Parks and Kim Reiss. The Colorado couple had lost so much in the wake of the devastation, including their wedding rings. However, in a stroke of luck, Michael Parks and Kim Reiss found their rings among the ashes of their home. Affirming for the couple that their upcoming marriage will have the strength to withstand almost anything…as will the symbols of their commitment.
On December 30, 2021, just a few short months away from their wedding day, Louisville Colorado couple Michael Parks and Kim Reiss had just minutes to evacuate their Colorado home as the fire closed in.
“I basically just grabbed the photo albums,” Michael Parks told FOX 31 in Denver of the mere moments he and his fiance had to flee. “Threw them in the car, and drove.”
The Couple Had To Leave Their Wedding Rings Behind
While the time was short, the Colorado couple were able to grab their dog and some pictures off their wall. However, that was it…they escaped with just their clothes on their backs. Leaving behind nearly everything else; including the wedding rings they had selected for the upcoming nuptials.
Once the flames were finally squelched, Parks and Reiss were able to return to their home, as were their neighbors. It was then that the true healing began as they confronted the losses they experienced when the fire swept through the area.
“I just fell to my knees,” Reiss said of the moment she and Parks returned to their Louisville, Colorado home. “It was pretty surreal.”
The destruction was so intense that the couple had little hope of salvaging much from the ruins. The wedding bands the couple had carefully selected for their big day sat on their bedside table when the fire engulfed their home. So, both Parks and Reiss assumed they were long gone. However, they didn’t give up all hope, deciding to sift through the ashes of their lives in hopes that the rings could be saved.
“It was eerie how close everything was to its old position,” Parks said of sorting through the destruction.
Digging For Something Special
“Everything just kind of fell down where it was,” the Colorado man explains. “So we had an idea where to dig for the wedding band.”
So, armed with shovels, hazmat suits, and some helpers, the couple began to dig. And, just six buckets of ash and soot later, Parks and Reiss found them…the symbols of their eternal love.
“It was pretty crazy,” Reiss remembers. “We were hugging and just so excited.”
With their May 28 wedding day fast approaching, the couple has sent the rings off to be professionally cleaned. And, they say, the symbolism the rings hold has become all the more remarkable.
“Hopefully, 30, 40 years from now, we can go, ‘OK, this was the start, and we rebuilt our lives together from here,’” Parks says of the special bands.