Scripps Online / ET
One half of the iconic country duo, Joey + Rory, this stunning singer/songwriter shared some of the most powerful experiences in her life with the world through videos, blog posts, and of course – music.
Joey Martin Feek lived a truly inspiring, loving, and blessed life with her husband (and duet partner) Rory Feek along with their beautiful baby girl, Indiana.
While she is no longer with us, those incredible moments of inspiration she shared with all of us live on in many forms, and we’ve brought forth a small collection of Joey’s undeniable gift to inspire the world!
A newcomer to Nashville, Joey immediately took to Rory when she heard him singing in the Bluebird Cafe and said to herself, “I don’t know who that man is, but I’m going to marry him someday.” Well, just a short time later, they found themselves head-over-heels in love with each other and happily married newlyweds – setting out on an adventure that would reach the world.
While she would later become one part of America’s most memorable country duos, Joey Martin Feek began her trek into the world of music as a solo artist – and never let go of doing what she loved! In the early 2000s, Joey recorded a full-length solo album called Strong Enough to Cry that featured many songs written by both her and Rory. One of them, “Red”, even got its own official music video! She truly honored her dreams and never gave up the chase for what her heart yearned for….and she touched the world with her beautiful talent.
Entering a fierce singing competition with her beloved husband, the pair took an amazing chance on a show that they had no idea would end up changing their lives forever. Going into the competition, they hoped for the best and felt strong about their talents, but the show really took their careers on a whirlwind adventure when they took home third place as finalists on CMT’s hit show Can You Duet!
In early 2014, Joey + Rory welcomed their first baby together into the world: little Indiana Feek. And what a beautiful sight she was! Indy was born at just 8 lbs, 2 oz, but there was something markedly different about her – she was born with Down syndrome. While born different than others, their love for the blessing God had given them was no different than any other parents – and while they knew that raising her may be slightly different than they had anticipated, they welcomed their beautiful gift with open arms and never stopped cherishing her!
Credit: Rory Feek / ThisLifeILive
Ever since she came into their lives, Joey treated Rory’s daughters from his first marriage with the same love she would give her own later down the road. In this photo above, Heidi and Hopie, drove up to the farm from Nashville to spend time with Joey after she had decided to discontinue cancer treatments.
“Joey hasn’t been outside the house in over a week,” Rory writes in his blog. “Too weak and too tired to even try to get up and go out. But today she did. “Joey got up from her bed and stepped through the back screen-door and found a spot between the girls on her mama’s porch swing. And she held their hands in hers and talked with them.”
Rory continued, saying that Joey told the girls just how much they meant to her, talked of her endless love for them, and how proud she is. Next, she opened up about a truly difficult subject: leaving them. “And then she told them of the day when they’ll be together again in Heaven.”
For years, Joey and Rory opened their home to the community and brought people from all over into their beloved town for a great concert series called the “Farmhouse Concert Series”. It was an event the community loved to take part in and welcomed everyone to share in their celebration of food, family, fun, and faith – bringing a burst of commerce to local businesses as travelers came through for the event. It was truly a beloved part of life for everyone involved.
In October 2015, the doctors came to Joey with a devastating piece of information: the chemo and radiation had not done much to rid her body of the cancer they tried so hard to cure. She could continue treatment, but the outlook was only that they could extend her time by a small amount. She took the information and made one of the hardest decisions any of us could ever have to make…She chose to live. Rory writes in his blog about the decision they made and expresses it in one of the most beautiful ways possible.
“We came home. Not to die. But to live.
To put our hands in each others and sit out on the back porch and watch the sun set as our sweet little baby girl plays on a blanket in front of us. To bask in the glory of the beautiful life He’s blessed us with, and try not to question why we can’t have more of it together. And why He is allowing this to happen.
The doctors gave us an estimate of how much time they believe that Joey has, and we both looked at the calendar that hangs by our kitchen door, then I took the calendar off the wall and threw in the trash can.
So we don’t have forever. We’ve got right now… And that’s enough.“
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