Firefighter Finds Fiancée’s Wedding Dress in the Rubble of Hurricane Harvey
Trending| | By Brian Delpozo
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, there are countless stories of heartbreaking tragedy coming out of Texas. However, there have also been a smattering of stories that pull at the heartstrings. While they obviously don’t negate the tragedy of the events, they do remind us that there can be light even in the darkest of times. The story of Kyle Parry and Stephanie Hoekstra is one such tale.
The engaged couple were scheduled to be married in September, and Hoekstra (who makes her home in Canada) had stored her hand-picked wedding dress and other materials for their wedding in her fiancé’s Texas home prior to Hurricane Harvey. Parry, a firefighter, had prepared his Beaumont, Texas, home as best he could before working several days straight rescuing others trapped in the ensuing floodwaters.
After giving several days in service of others, Kyle Parry checked on his home. Sadly, what he found was devastation.
“I got out of the boat and I am neck-deep in water, I open the door of my house and I know it’s a complete loss,” he told CNN.
Kyle Parry began exploring the house to examine the damage, all the while livestreaming with fiancée Stephanie Hoekstra.
“All the stuff we had just bought for the wedding — the plates, the napkins, everything — was just floating around Kyle’s house. Of course it’s only stuff and stuff can be replaced, but it was hard to watch because we struggled this past year to get everything together to make it happen. It was all just gone,” Hoekstra told CNN.
However, miraculously, Stephanie Hoekstra’s wedding dress survived unscathed. The water that flooded the home came up inches below the high shelf Parry had stored the dress on for safe-keeping, leaving it in like-new condition much to Parry and Hoekstra’s jubilation.
While the dress survived, the couple has decided to postpone the wedding for a bit in order to allow themselves – and the community – a chance to pick up the pieces.
“There’s a lot of work to do here, helping neighbors and helping our community,” Parry explained to CNN. “I need to find a place to live. I need to buy some clothes. All I have now is a pair of shorts, some underwear and my two fire department uniforms.”
A GoFundMe campaign launched for the couple raised over $12,000 to help with the process of rebuilding their lives.
Despite all that’s happened, Hoekstra still has a positive outlook, saying, “We love each other so much. We’ll get married another day. We’ll be OK.”
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