Long before Joey ever came into his life, Rory Feek had lived for years as the single father to his two daughters, Heidi and Hopie. Once Joey + Rory married, Joey fit perfectly into her role as the girls’ stepmother, and loved them as if they were her own.
Joey served as the main mother figure to Heidi and Hopie, who are now 29 and 27. Eventually, Joey + Rory had a beautiful baby of their own, a daughter they named Indiana. Shortly after little Indy was born, the couple learned that she had Down Syndrome. Joey completely devoted herself to her little girl, making sure she received all of the care she needed.
It was only a few months after Indy’s birth that Joey discovered she had cancer. Once she made the decision to return home and cease treatments, she came to the realization that she would be leaving Rory alone to be a single father yet again.
“When the time came that we realized that Joey was most likely not going to make it through this cancer…one of the hardest things was coming to realize that I was going to be back here again where I was before, but this time raising Indiana,” Rory said during an emotional interview with People.
Rory said it was unbearable for Joey to think about how her death would leave him to be a single parent once again. But Rory said that he tried his best to ease her mind, saying his past experience would help him raise Indy:
“[Joey] just couldn’t bear the idea that she was going to leave me a single parent again because I’d already been through it. She told me right on the porch out there,” Rory said, breaking down. “She said, ‘It’s not fair. You’re not supposed to have to do this again.’ I said, ‘But on the other hand, I’m perfect. I already know how.'”
Since Joey passed away in April, Rory has been taking Indy to a school that the couple picked out together. She receives physical therapy and speech therapy at the school, and continues to grow and thrive.
Our hearts break hearing how sad Joey was to leave Rory to raise Indy alone. But according to his blog posts and sweet pictures of Indy, it seems like he’s doing a wonderful job.
We continue to keep Rory, Indy, Heidi, and Hopie in our prayers.
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