A New York teen will be spending her first Mother’s Day without her mother, who died while saving her on the holiday last year.
Jenna Aluska’s mother, Diane Aluska, pushed her out of the way of car in Lindenhurst, Long Island, last year, WABC-TV reported.
The car seemed to come out of nowhere, and Diane became pinned underneath. The two had just come out of church and were holding hands, talking about a boy Jenna liked and her upcoming dance solo.
“It was scary,” Jenna recalled. “I woke up and there was glass in front of me. I didn’t realize what was going on.”
The 80-year-old driver who hit them didn’t realize the car was in reverse, and the vehicle went flying onto the sidewalk after he hit the gas.
Jenna suffered injuries to her back and spine, but her mother died that day. The pair were best friends, Jenna said.
Jenna’s father is the one who broke the news to her when she woke up from surgery in the hospital.
The high school junior said that while coping with the loss of her mother hasn’t been easy, she used writing to help her through the tragedy – filling up two journals with letters she penned to Diane.
The pair would share secrets and tell each other everything, Jenna told WABC, adding that she would miss her mother’s spaghetti and meatballs — her favorite meal she cooked, even though she could make “anything.”
Jenna showed wisdom beyond her years when discussing how she’s begun to heal in the aftermath.
“Just need to grow from it,” Jenna said. “You need to get yourself together, in a sense.”
The teen also shared a message with others who’ve lost parents at a young age.
“You’re not alone,” she said. “You’re not the only person who is going through this.”
Jenna will be spending this Mother’s Day at the cemetery with her father to honor the woman who gave her life and then 16 years later sacrificed herself to save her life.