Lauren Alaina lost her stepfather, Sam Ramker, in October 2018, and the singer paid tribute to Ramker on Monday, Oct. 21 with a series of family photos and an emotional caption in which she reflected on her stepdad's passing.
Alaina shared a slideshow of snaps of herself and her mom with Ramker, including a photo of the Dancing With the Stars contestant proudly displaying the ACM Award she won in 2018 for New Female Vocalist.
"He was always my champion," she wrote. "He was always my number one fan. Now he’s my guardian angel. I can’t believe my stepdad has been gone a year today. This is going to be an extremely hard day for my family, but I know Sam is with us and is so proud of us all. I am dancing for you tonight Sammy. I’m giving mom all the biggest hugs she deserves. We miss you. See you on The Other Side."
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The family learned of Ramker's diagnosis early last year and Alaina revealed at the 2018 City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game in June that her stepfather had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.
The "Getting Good" singer originally shared the news of Ramker's passing on Instagram alongside a family photo.
"My stepdad, Sam, went to heaven at one o’clock this morning," she began. "He was the purest example of how to love and live life fully. His last few hours were some of the most amazing moments I know I will ever have the privilege of witnessing. He opened his eyes last night. They shined the brightest I’ve ever seen anyone’s eyes shine, and he said, 'Jesus.' We said, 'What do you see Sam?' He said, 'It’s so beautiful.' Mom asked him who he saw and he told her a bunch of people, including his mama. He later said, 'I love you all. I found it.' My mom asked him what he found and he said, 'Heaven. I’ve got to go.' An hour later he went to be with the Lord."
"I want this story to be an example of how real God is," Alaina continued. "We are only here for a short amount of time, and we have to live like there is no tomorrow. I want us to all be a little more like Sam. He was strong. He was the most compassionate person in the world. He would go without to help a stranger. He was a great dad. Now he is with the best Father in the universe. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family in this time. We appreciate the love, donations, and prayers that we have received."
Photo Credit: Getty / Kevin Winter