A couple of days ago marked the seven year anniversary of my father’s passing. Seven years may seem like a long time ago, but parts of that time remain very vivid. He passed away after fighting through a ~5 month period filled with a series of hospital complications. Memories of hospital waiting rooms, ICU hallways, dreaded phone calls, loud monitors, and that ambiguous hospital smell linger on. It’s difficult to describe losing a parent at the age of 20. During those few months, we were always told to “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Fortunately, my dad made it home to celebrate his 55th birthday in the presence of family, and just for a moment, we started letting our guard down. He was only home for about a month, but I will always be grateful for that extra time with him.


Joe R 1



I was definitely a daddy’s girl; many recall me being his “junior”. Today, as we celebrate the many amazing fathers out there, I would like to specifically share a little more about my own. I have many fond memories with my dad, and figured I’d list some of my favorites to celebrate his memory.


Joe R 2
Who I developed my historian skills from.


  • Our family vacations in general, but especially the ones that involved long road trips with my dad’s crazy CDs, i.e. Texas Tornados. 🎶 Hey, baby, que paso? 🎵
  • Late night trips to Walmart, because as always, I waited last minute to work on a school project. Although reluctant, my dad would always get up to take me. 😊
  • Our numerous evening trips to Sonic. I’ll take a cherry limeade please!


Joe R 3
Yes, I was spoiled.


  • Picking up pan dulce at the local panadería before visiting his uncle.
  • Sunday church downtown, followed by a good ol’ Mexican breakfast.
  • Sitting together at a restaurant without the need for conversation, as we both stuck to our readings. (His was the local newspaper, and mine were teen magazines.) I always felt the staff knew him wherever we would go, because he was so personable.


Joe R 4
Check out those shades!


  • Getting a phone call on his way home, asking what kind of coffee I wanted from Starbucks.
  • Going to Ash Wednesday every year with him right after I would get out of school.
  • Visiting him at his school, sitting in his office, and running into all his co-workers. They always showed their appreciation for him, and reminded us how much we looked alike.


Joe R 5
Do we look alike?


  • Waiting after school for him to pick me up. He picked me up practically every single day after school from pre-K up until I was in high school.🚙
  • Whining as my dad yelled for me across the house to scratch his back or “pull piojos” from his head. He’d even pay me 5 bucks!! Lol (The funny thing is, I’m always asking my fiancé to scratch my back or play with my hair, and I’d totally pay 5 bucks for it! )
  • Watching him gather the pups to take them out for a walk everyday.
  • Looking up during any award ceremony, volleyball game, band/guitar concert, or graduation to find him with a camera in hand recording every moment.📹


Joe R 6
He loved all our pups!

Although our time together was cut short, I definitely feel he left me with a lifetime of lessons to practice, support to motivate me always, and love to keep me moving forward. I miss him dearly, but I will always cherish the many special moments we shared. I strive everyday to be the determined and successful young woman he always believed I could be.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Love, Your “Junior”

What is one of your favorite memories with your father?

How did you spend your Father’s Day?