When Joey + Rory made the decision to end all of Joey's treatments for her cancer, Joey decided she wanted to spend her final days at home with her family in Indiana, rather than at her and Rory's home in Tennessee.
During the final five months of her life, Joey received the best care possible from her devoted nurse, her big sister Jody. When Joey came to Indiana, Jody took a leave of absence from the hospital she works at as an RN, and dedicated her time to taking care of Joey's every need.
After Joey passed away on March 4, she was buried in the cemetery on her and Rory's farm in Tennessee. Joey's hometown of Alexandria also hosted a memorial service in her honor, which was led by gospel singers and Joey + Rory's good friends Bill and Gloria Gaither.
At the memorial, Bill introduced Jody to those in attendance, and she stepped up to share some of her memories of Joey and her final days. Since the two of them spent many hours together over the last few months of Joey's life, they ended up forming a stronger bond than ever before.
"We spent hours, sometimes talking until 3 AM, about our families, our personal struggles, our fears, our weaknesses. We also talked about our greatest satisfactions and what marks we want to make and leave in this world. We cried about the day we lost our brother, and how his death affected us in similar but different ways."
But Jody said there was one topic that her and Joey talked about more than all others.
"The thing we talked most was love," Jody said, fighting back tears. "The love she shared for our Savior Jesus Christ and how important it is for her girls to know him, trust him, and follow him. The love she had for Rory, and her family, how she loved taking care and providing for them."
Although Jody felt a great sense of sadness during the last few months of Joey's life, she knows she will always treasure every second they got to spend together.
"I will forever be thankful for the past five months," she said, struggling for words. "Joey's taught me so much about myself I never saw, about love, about living, and about sacrifice."
You can watch Jody talk more about her memories of Joey and how she changed her life in the video below.
We continue to send our prayers to all of Joey's family and loved ones during this incredibly sad time.
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