The latest episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was definitely a tearjerker (we're getting a little choked up just thinking about it, to be honest).
Our eyes were always going to well up over the fact that Gia Giudice is all grown up and going to her senior prom with Frankie Catania as her date (clip above). But then we realized that a very important person in Gia's life was missing from this major moment: her dad, Joe Giudice.
At the time of Gia's prom last spring, Joe was still in ICE custody, so he was unable to see how gorgeous his eldest daughter looked as she headed out for one of the most memorable nights of her life. However, Joe was able to call Gia from the ICE detention center as she got ready for the big day. "I know it stinks that I'm not there. I miss you girls so much," Joe told Gia over the phone during the February 12 episode of RHONJ. "You girls get me choked up, I can't even talk."
Joe continued to show his love for Gia in a post on Instagram on February 13 that featured several photos from the day of her prom, including one in which she and Frankie look absolutely adorable together. "I love you to bits!" Joe captioned the post. "You are my rock."
Though Gia got emotional as she prepared for prom, she tried to stay positive amid her dad's absence. "I try to make the best out of every situation, so even though my father can't be here with me today, my support system is amazing," she said in an interview during the episode. "I couldn't be more grateful for it."
Gia has traveled to visit her dad in Italy since his release, along with her three sisters (Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10) in November and then again around Christmastime. Joe promised to always maintain their strong connection, no matter where they both are in the world, as he wished his daughter a happy 19th birthday on Instagram in January.
"These past years as your dad have been the hardest to watch you grow into your own person. Honestly the longest years I have ever experienced to be away from all your success! I have made tons of mistakes so far. Though my birthday gift to you, I will shower you with love my firstborn, our special bond has never stopped and I thank you," he wrote in a post that featured a slideshow of photos of the daddy-daughter duo over the years. "I am always trying to be the best dad I can be because you, my little girl, you are the best daughter I could ever ask for. For this, I will always spoil you for all the years to come. Happy birthday, you will always be daddy’s little girl."
Want more RHONJ? New episodes air every Wednesday at 8/7c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.
Check out The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 10 After Show, below.
Photo: Joe Giudice/Instagram
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