Life is pretty good for Derick Dillard these days.
He and Jill Duggar are expecting their second child; the couple is already planning a second international missionary trip, and Derick recently embarked on a career as an educator.
But despite his current run of good luck, Derick's life has not been without its share of grief, and the reality star took time out this week to honor a loss that he still mourns nearly a decade after it occurred:
Derick's father, Rick Dillard, passed away nine years ago yesterday, and Derick paid loving tribute by posting the following photo, along with a caption reading:
"Nine years ago today I said goodbye to the greatest man I knew. The greatest, namely, because he taught me in word and deed about Jesus Christ.
"He protected and served the public as a police officer, and he loved God and his family. His time came sooner than expected, but I know he would have loved being grandpa Dillard to little Israel too.
"He is my dad, and I look forward to seeing him again on the other side of eternity. Rick W. Dillard (1957-2008)."
Derick doesn't frequently talk about the loss of his father, but he pays tribute to the man whenever the occasion arises.
At Jill and Derick's wedding back in 2014,
"I'm so sorry for your loss. My father had been gone almost six years and I miss him every day," one fan commented.
"He was my world. We never get over it. Only used to it. God helps us understand."
Another follower observed a similarity between Risk Dillard and Derick's young son, Israel Dillard, writing:
"Your little man looks like your dad. I wondered were the blonde hair came from. Your dad sees him and watched over you all."
In the past, Derick has spoken about the profound impact his father had in shaping his spiritual beliefs.
It's not yet known where the Dillards will be headed in their next missionary journey, but wherever their travels might take them, it's safe to say that Rick Dillard will be at the forefront of Derick's mind.
Watch Counting On online to keep up with the Dillards and Derick's many, many in-laws.