by Amanda Guerra | KRLD-AM

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NORTH TEXAS (KRLD-AM) – The upcoming Christmas holiday is a painful reminder for several North Texas families.

The day after Christmas will mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak that killed 11 people, including several along I-30 near the George Bush Turnpike.

Cars on the side of I-30 following a tornado that tore through Garland on Dec. 26, 2015. (Photo: CBS11)

Cars on the side of I-30 following a tornado that tore through Garland on Dec. 26, 2015. (Photo: CBS11)

Mother of four, Petras Porras, was on the phone with her husband Ruben when an EF-4 tornado hit her SUV, killing her almost instantly.

“This has just been the longest year probably of my life. It’s been a long road,” said Ruben Porras. “We have gotten so much better since then. I can actually talk about it now without tearing down and falling apart. I can go back to that night and remember everything.”

Porras said he was at the couple’s home in Mesquite cleaning as a surprise for his wife when she called him after a hair appointment.

He missed her call, but called her back and accidentally hit the FaceTime button. Porras said his wife put the phone in her cupholder.

“I could just barely see her face. Just within seconds, I probably spoke to her about 30 seconds and after that she just started screaming. All she said was, ‘Babe.’ She just kept saying ‘Babe,'” Porras said. “The next thing you know everything stopped, got quiet. I could see stuff flying through the truck.”

Porras said using the ‘Find my iPhone’ app, he tracked his wife’s location and with family members, rushed to I-30 near the George Bush Turnpike.

When they got to I-30 it was jammed with cars, so he and his relatives got out and ran.

“We just kept jumping over wires trees and all kinds of debris that was on the ground. We went down the ramp and underneath the bridge I saw her truck,” he said. “That’s when I collapsed. I had this feeling, it was like, I wouldn’t wish this on anybody… This is something that will be in my head for the rest of my life. It’s my wife. She was one of the most important people in my life. To just lose her in a matter of seconds. It was a tremendous hit for myself and my children.”

Porras said since then he’s sought counseling, and together, he and his four children are continuing to grow stronger as a family.

He’s taking them to Orlando for Christmas so they don’t have to be at home for the anniversary.

“It’s something that it will be in your head forever and the pain will always be there, but it goes away with time. It gets better,” said Porras. “At first you feel like you don’t want to be in this world anymore. You want to die. But, myself, I have four kids and they’re the ones who keep me going.”

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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