Rory Feek knew from the start that there was something special about Joey Martin. After dating for only two months, Rory proposed in April 2002 during a visit to Joey's hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, and they were married two months after that.
It was the first time Rory had ever been to Joey's hometown, but he felt a connection to it from the start. As Rory writes in a new post to his blog, This Life I Live, he'll never forget the moment when him, Joey, and his daughters Heidi and Hopie made their way into Joey's childhood home.
"It was like something straight out of a movie," he wrote. "The house and setting was almost too sweet and beautiful to be real."
During the weekend, Rory had the chance to meet everyone in Joey's family, and paid a special visit to her father to ask for her hand in marriage. Joey also showed Rory around her hometown, and took him to her old high school, the place where she had her first job, and a small cemetery where her brother Justin is buried.
Later in the evening after visiting Joey's father, Rory went to an even more meaningful spot to Joey. The couple walked hand in hand down the dark lane where a white cross along the side of the road marks the spot where Justin was killed in a car accident when he was only 17.
Rory knew how much the spot meant to Joey, but how it was also a place of great sadness for her. He decided that he wanted to make that change, and so he got down on one knee:
"I wanted to change that moment for her… to try to make it better. To turn that place into a beautiful beginning instead of a heartbreaking ending. So there we were, in the spot where her she felt her greatest pain. But this time I was the one who knelt, and I asked Joey to marry me. And we both cried. And together we prayed that God might take our broken hearts and our broken pasts and make something truly beautiful of them."
Since that day, Joey + Rory made more than their fair share of trips back to Alexandria, which Rory calls "Joey’s town. My town." Yet out of all the trips Rory's made to Joey's hometown, he says none are more meaningful than the one he took with little Indy to Joey's memorial service.
"In the Alexandria High School gymnasium – the same place where Joey had played basketball and volleyball and cheered for her home team – a few thousand people gathered together in her honor," Rory wrote. "But this time, the cheers were all for her."
Rory shared a video from the service in his blog, which you can watch below.
We continue to keep Rory, Indy, and all of Joey's loved ones in our prayers.
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