This past year has been tough for the Rodrigo's. Life was going great, until the head of their family became gravely ill and within hours, their dad passed away. If you've been listening to the Ellen K Morning Show, this story might sound familiar. And, that's because it's Ellen K's Producer, Darlene Rodrigo (aka @SocialQueenDarlene) and her family. Big Alex left a big impression on everyone he knew and for the past few months, the family's been experiencing a lot of first's without him being there. One thing Big Alex always wanted was to take a large family picture together but with everyone's busy schedule, having a special needs child and picking the right time, it never happened. Sure, taking family photos might seem like a nightmare, especially when there's so many people involved but the Rodrigo's admit it's a huge regret not having them with their father alive.
This year, in tribute to their dad, they took these family photos in matching pj's Target had on sale for the holiday season. They also added a lot of special touches in the background. For example, they hired a local lifestyle photographer (@XoHMPphoto) who came to their home so it was more manageable and personal for the big family of 11. It also happened to be the same spot they'd take their Christmas picture on Christmas morning every year. The large picture sitting on the mantle shows their dad smiling and was was placed on purpose so his face still shows up in the photos. Lastly, the mugs that read, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was a saying he'd always tell the family. One thing the Rodrigo's have learned during their grief is that they must keep on and live as if their dad were still here. Big Alex is smiling down watching from heaven. The Rodrigo's are now urging other families to make special memories with their father's and/or mother's while they still can. Live. Love. Life. Now.