Widower James Alvarez will not allow his late wife Yesenia Aguilar to be forgotten. In fact, he makes sure of it by recreating her beautiful maternity photoshoot every year with their three-year-old daughter, Adalyn. 

As Alvarez wrote on Instagram, he recreates his late wife’s photoshoot with their daughter for several reasons. “I do this photoshoot to honor you and to remind the world, what a beautiful person we lost.”

“But most importantly, to our daughter,” he added. “So she can know what an amazing woman you were so that one day she could grow up as amazing as you.”

The widower explained just how “bittersweet” the day August 11 will always be for him. As he described, it is the day he lost his wife — and also the day he celebrates his daughter’s birthday every year.

Image shared with permission from James Alvarez.

“My wife gave up her life to save my daughter, and because of her, I have such a beautiful daughter by my side. A constant reminder of my wife,” Alvarez said in a statement. “Every time I look at my daughter, I see my wife.”

“Every year for my daughter’s birthday, we recreate my wife’s maternity photos to honor her, to remind the world what a beautiful person we lost, and to remind her that she will never be forgotten,” he added. “Wifey, if you’re listening, I hope I’m making you proud.”

Aguilar was killed after a driver struck her while walking with her husband

Aguilar was tragically killed at 36 weeks pregnant after a motorist suspected of driving under the influence hit her. She was walking on a sidewalk in Anaheim, California with her husband, Alvarez.

She was 23 years old, studying cosmetology while working at Disneyland.

Alvarez recalled to TODAY, “By the time we saw the car coming towards us, it was too late.”

“I remember looking at my wife laying there and thinking ’This is a nightmare. Let me wake up. Please let me wake up now,'” he said.

As per The Orange County Register, the couple walked to ensure Aguilar would have a healthy pregnancy. Tragically, she was struck by the out-of-control Jeep just five minutes away from their home.

Alvarez remembers, “I was just like, ‘Wow this is how I’m going to die.’ I can only imagine my wife thinking the same thing. I guarantee you she was thinking about our daughter.”

The widower explained to UCI Health that while “the sunset that evening was beautiful,” everything changed in a heartbeat. “The ambulance arrived, and I told the paramedics she was 36 weeks pregnant,” he remembered. “I said, ‘Please try to save my wife. Please try to save my daughter.’” He also tried to give her CPR.

Unfortunately, Aguilar died from her injuries at UCI Medical Center. However, the medical team was able to save their daughter, Adalyn, who was born that day through a C-section.

Alvarez described to TODAY his mixed emotions about the day of August 11. “My daughter’s birthday is the same day I lost my wife and that just tears me up.”

Meanwhile, the driver, Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 40, was charged with murder and driving under the influence. As per The Orange County Register, she had three prior DUIs.

Now, Alvarez honors his late wife’s legacy every year by recreating their maternity photoshoot

Alvarez posts a beautiful tribute to Aguilar every year by recreating their maternity photoshoot with their daughter, Adalyn. He does this as a tradition on August 11, the day unbelievable tragedy struck — but his greatest blessing was born.

As he wrote back on Adalyn’s first birthday in 2021, “Today, marks one year of losing my wife but also having our beautiful daughter become one year old.”

“We had Adalyn dress up in a pink dress as her mommy did,” he explained. “And took pictures at the same location where we did our maternity shoot.”

“It’s been a tough journey but I did it with my head held high. I try to be the best father I could be for my daughter. I want to make my wife proud.”

Alvarez also said he is fulfilling his late wife’s wishes to give their daughter the “happiest” birthday.

One year after that, back in 2022, Alvarez repeated the tradition, once again using the same photographer, @xv_photography.

“I always remember you and your legacy will never fade,” the widower wrote last year. “You gave up your life to save our daughter and that will never be forgotten.”

Plus, Alvarez commented on their daughter’s resemblance to his late wife.

“Adalyn is looking more like you every day! You would be so proud because she’s just like you,” he noted. “The way she smiles and looks at me. It reminds me how you used to smile and look at me.”

As Alvarez calls Adalyn, she is their “miracle baby.”