Throughout Joey Feek's final year of life, from her difficult cancer battle and choice to end treatment and go on hospice care, to her death on March 4, the couple never lost their love for each other, the music they made as the songwriting duo, Joey + Rory, or their 2-year-old daughter, Indiana.
Rory faithfully recorded the moments they shared together on his blog, which were at times inspiring, heartbreaking, and peaceful while offering his inner meditations on love, faith, and family.
Here are some of the most precious memories the bluegrass country duo and their family shared in the months before Joey gave her final goodbyes.
Joey+ Rory’s love of performing together won over the hearts and ears of so many fans of country music, and they shared this passion with Indy. The couple was even nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 2016 GRAMMYs, which Rory told ET brought the family “excitement and tears.”
"When you love country music as much as we do, to even be nominated for a Grammy for Best Duo/Group Country Vocal Performance is like winning the lottery," he added.
Dec. 11, 2015: Indy and Joey’s Sweet Smiles Shine Brighter Than the Sun
“It's 60 and sunny outside today and even brighter inside.. Joey's out of bed teaching signs to Indy on the floor.”
Rory wrote on his blog in December that Joey getting out of bed made for such a magical moment because it was “not as simple as it sounds when you’ve been in a hospital bed for weeks and were prepared to possibly never walk again.”
“But I guess the power-of-the-will is much stronger than the power of fear,” the country musician added.
“We had a 1940's themed New Years Eve party last year in our barn. I dusted off my old uniform and my bride and I cut a rug to some big band music. Hoping for a long sweet slow dance this year.”
While much of Joey’s final months were spent at home in hospice care, this beautiful throwback video illustrates how full of live and love she and Rory were for each other, as they danced the night away on New Year’s Eve.
Sharing how Joey’s cancer battle had affected their final Valentine’s Day together, Rory wrote on his site, “The passion for each other that Joey and I once had has been replaced by the sweetest, gentlest kisses.”
After Joey finally lost her life, Rory offered this last meditation:
“From the time she was four years old, Joey had been singing Dolly’s songs and dreamed of one day meeting her. Coat of Many Colors was a regular part of our show and at home she loved to put on Dolly and listen to ‘Hello God,’ ‘When I Sing For Him,’ ‘Me and Little Andy’ and many others. She never got the chance to meet her in person and had no idea that Dolly even knew who she was. But that changed one Friday evening this past November," the musician wrote.
"Joey’s family, Russdriver and I gathered around Joey’s bedside to watch the movie Hope Floats (one of the few movies Joey knew and loved) with her. But instead of pushing play on the DVD, I pushed play on the video I had received," he continued.
What Rory showed Joey was a message of love and support from Dolly Parton, adding, "And we all watched Joey watch. It was the most beautiful moment I have ever been part of…”
"Joey will still be with us. Everywhere," Rory wrote, noting that he and Indy would soon head back home to Tennessee. "She’s already got a head-start on me."