The Christmas holiday is challenging for some North Texans still recovering from last year’s Dec. 26 deadly tornado in Garland and Rowlett.
Petra Porras, 26, was killed while on the phone with her husband when the tornado hit. Her mother said on Friday she still finds it a struggle to accept that Porras is gone.
"This week has been really hard...the next couple days will be even harder,” said mom Dominga Pinon.
Porras had just finished a hairdresser appointment and was driving home when a tornado touched down.
"I heard the weather come in. It was really bad. I told her, I said you need to be careful. She said, ‘I am mom.’ That was my last text,” Pinon said.
Pinon waited by the phone while her son-in-law searched for his wife. Petra's phone died during a conversation with him just after he heard her scream. He found her along a highway service road inside her SUV.
"Then he called me and told me she was gone. He said my baby was gone,” Pinon said.
Pinon finds comfort in things like the honorary associates degree Petra earned to become a paralegal. Graduation would've been two months after her death.
Her son-in-law decided to take the couple’s four young children to Florida to spend Christmas at Disney World this year. It’s a distraction to hopefully soften the one-year anniversary of a wife, mom, daughter and loved one they feel is gone too soon.
"Her babies, they keep me going. I have to be strong for them,” Pinon said.