18-Year-Old 'Modern Family' Star Loses His Dad -- & Brings Us to Tears

rico rodriguez dad
starringrico/Instagram

Growing up, I remember sitting around with friends talking about whose dad was the strongest and the fastest. I was enamored with my father (I still am) and recall all the things he taught me -- the talks we had, the pointers he gave me as a teen, and his words of encouragement as I became an adult -- that helped shape me into the woman I am today. My heart breaks for Modern Family actor Rico Rodriguez as he mourns the loss of his father, Roy Rodriguez, who suddenly passed away March 12 at age 52. As the young actor referred to Roy as a "superhero," it's not hard to imagine how much this 18-year-old loved the man he's proud to call dad.

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Taking to Instagram a week after his papa's passing, Rico (you might know him as the wise-beyond-his-years Manny Delgado on the acclaimed ABC show) shared a touching post that honors his dad in the most heartrending and tear-provoking way.

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'Modern Family' star Rico Rodriguez with late father Roy Rodriguez
starringrico/Instagram

"This has been the toughest week of my life. My Dad was the most kind hearted, loving, hard working, determined, and funny man I have ever known," Rico captions the photo of him and his dad drinking milkshakes. He continues:

He was like a super hero, he had the ability to get the best out of you day in and day out. I'm gonna miss your hugs. I'm gonna miss your advice. I'm gonna miss your smile, and I'm gonna miss your laugh. I know you're looking down at us right now giving us the green light to move forward. I miss you Daddy. I'll love you forever - Your youngest

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My heart is with Rico, as I can't fathom having to say good-bye to one of my parents at 18 -- especially so suddenly.

From Rico's post, it's quite evident that his father was an amazing man who loved his family to no end. And though Rico and his mother and siblings had to say good-bye so soon, I'm sure they have fond memories of Roy Rodriguez that will last a lifetime.

Rico's older sister, Disney actress Raini Rodriguez, also took to Instagram to share a heartwarming message about their dad that gives us a bit more insight about the man who will likely influence generations to come.

"You have officially been gone one week daddy and while it has been really difficult, we are all still standing tall and I know it's because you are sending us strength and guidance all the way from heaven," Raini captioned. "My daddy was the greatest man in my life .... He has taught me so many life lessons and inspired me constantly to follow my dreams. I know you will continue to shine down on me, momma, Rico, Ray, Poppi and baby and we will be ok!"

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This unthinkable loss is such an important reminder to live and be present in the moment, and to let the people in your life know how much they mean to you.

... Because no one is promised tomorrow.

Thank you, Rico (and Raini), for taking the time during such a horrible time to tell us about your father -- and why he is, and will forever be, a special person whom you'll cherish forever. Our thoughts are with your family.

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