Family comes first.
That was the takeaway on the Oct. 12 episode of The Golden Bachelor, with an early frontrunner choosing to leave the ABC reality series early after receiving a call from home. (Warning, spoilers ahead!)
Joan, 60, ended her relationship after receiving a text message from one of her four children expressing that they needed her support at home.
"My daughter just had a baby and it wasn't a normal everyday delivery at all," Joan explained. "Things go wrong, and even if everything went right, you need your mom. My family will always be first. Once you become a mom, you're always a mom even when your kids are older. Nothing is more important."
The other women became emotional when the private school administrator from Rockland, Md., announced she would be leaving, and Gerry immediately began crying when Joan told him she had to go home.
"As much as I don't want to leave our journey," Joan explained, "I gotta be a parent."
While Gerry said he understood, he admitted, "I can't tell you how disappointed I am." However, he continued, "There's a moral compass that we both share and sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest."
Still, Joan couldn't help but feel like she was "doing the wrong thing" for them, even if she was doing what was best for her family after losing her husband of 32 years to pancreatic cancer.
During their one-on-one chat the previous night, Gerry and Joan connected over having both lost their spouses. And it was a pivotal conversation for Joan.
"It was one of the best nights of my life,' she told Gerry. "Our connection was so deep and it's the first time that's happened to be since my husband passed away, honestly. I feel like it healed my heart."
Later in the episode, Gerry also said goodbye to Edith Aguirre and Christine Kempton at the rose ceremony, leaving nine women left vying for his final rose.
While we wait to find out who Gerry chooses, find out which Bachelor Nation couples are still together:
The Golden Bachelor airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.