Not only did she have to wait months for The Bachelorette to resume production, Clare was unable to spend any of that time with her beloved mom Lilia, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. During tonight's season premiere, Clare documented the highs and lows of quarantining at home in Sacramento, Calif., where she stuck things out until her journey to find love finally got the green light to proceed.
"This pandemic can literally crush people and it's terrible," she shared. "If it's not loneliness from being by yourself for so long, it's going crazy because you don't know what's gonna happen. I'm 39 and I might not ever get the chance to meet my husband."
At one point, Clare is seen taking treats to her mom. "She lives in a care facility because of her Alzheimer's and dementia," the star explained. "I'm sure a lot of people are experiencing this as well, but it's really hard for me to not be able to see her, to not be able to hug her. It's hard."
Clare first opened up about her mom's health in a 2018 interview on the Mouthing Off With Olivia Caridi podcast. At the time that Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor was airing, Clare said her mom was "really, really, really sick," so quite some time passed before she felt prepared to give dating on reality TV another try.
More recently, Clare shared a sweet snapshot with her mom taken just prior to the pandemic.
"This was the last time I got to hug my mom before quarantine. She had fallen and split her nose open + had two black eyes, and I think I slept a total of 2 hours because I was so worried about her. But you wouldn't be able to tell any of that, because we were so happy just to be able to spend time together! Memories like this matter the most to me!" she wrote on Instagram.
Later on in the premiere, Clare and host Chris Harrison spoke at length about her dad, who passed away from brain cancer. As Clare described, her ideal partner will emulate his traits.
"My dad, I know, would just be so proud," she reflected. "He was somebody who always wanted me to follow my heart. I couldn't be more proud to have a dad like him, to set an example of what a real man is and how a real man treats women. I know it exists because he was that example."
Clare continued, "My dad would say I'm proud of you for just showing up. That's the biggest part of it. Never give up, just show up. By doing that you win. I've done that every single time. I try my best. And I'm here. I haven't given up on love and I never will."