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Mother Trapped In Car On L.I.E During Blizzard Shares ‘Last Words’ To Family

'My Heart And Soul Will Always Be With You,' Arena Wrote
Long Island mother Priscilla Arena reading letters she wrote to her family when she was stranded along L.I.E. (credit: CBS 2)

Long Island mother Priscilla Arena reading letters she wrote to her family when she was stranded along L.I.E. (credit: CBS 2)

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP)Hundreds of drivers were trapped in their freezing cold cars Friday night as the blizzard blew in before commuters could get home.

Many drivers wound up spending the night in their cars, waiting for first responders to come to the rescue. Parts of Suffolk County were slammed with up to 30 inches of snow.

Priscilla Arena of Mt. Sinai was among those trapped on the side of the Long Island Expressway in Farmingville. As she sat in her car waiting to be saved, Arena said she prayed for her safety and wrote what she thought would be her last words to her family.

“If you are reading this, that means that mommy’s physical body is gone, but my heart and soul will always be with you. I will be there when you get braces, when you have your first kiss, your prom, when you graduate high school and college,” the letter to Arena’s 9-year-old daughter Sophia and 5-year-old son John read.

She told Sophia she was “picture-perfect beautiful.” And she advised John to “Remember all the things that mommy taught you. Never say you hate someone you love. Take pride in the things you do, especially your family…. Don’t get angry at the small things; it’s a waste of precious time and energy. Realize that all people are different, but most people are good.”

“My love will never die — remember, always,” she added.

Arena, 41, also wrote a note to her husband before an Army National Guardsman rescued her at 4 a.m. Saturday, about 12 hours after she became stranded.

All of the drivers who were stranded on the L.I.E. during the blizzard survived.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)