SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — Dressed in white, holding candles and sharing hugs, the Smithfield community said goodbye to two children at a memorial Saturday night.
Siblings Alexa, 5, and Abraham, 4, were in the car with their mother during a night of heavy rains when they were swept away by floodwaters Monday night. The mother quickly called 911.
Crews were able to rescue the mother. However, the children did not make it.
After an extensive search the children’s bodies were found days later. The family says the children’s mother is trying to stay strong.
“She has bruises, bumps, her whole body aches. But it’s nothing compared to how her heart aches,” said Nancy Martinez, a cousin of the mother who lost two children.
Those in attendance Saturday at the memorial lit candles, released balloons, prayed and shared memories.
The family says the children may be gone but their legacy will live on.
“If you have children hug them every day, not just children but all family members because you leave home, get up and you never know if you will make it back home, so make every day count,” said Martinez.
The family says they are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. They now begin the process of planning a funeral.