Singer-songwriter Rory Feek continues to write beautifully on his blog, This Life I Live, even after his wife Joey Feek’s death from cancer earlier this year on March 4th. His Mother’s Day post, published yesterday, was, like most everything Rory Feek writes, a heart-wrenching and beautiful read. In this post, entitled “Happy Mothers Day Dad,” Rory recalls the years he spent as a single dad to his now-grown daughters, Heidi and Hopie, before he was married to Joey.
I can’t tell you I was a great father. I tried. I think was a good father, but the truth is I was still a young man struggling to find myself, while the girls were growing and finding out who they were. I made so many mistakes and was so selfish. At times I was more concerned about being a great songwriter than being a great father. In a lot of ways, I think the girls raised me while I was raising them. But they were so forgiving and loved me unconditionally. They still do.
Rory goes on to say how proud he is of the amazing young women his daughters, now 29 and 27, have become. He says he loves and always has loved being a father, and that after he and Joey married, he prayed that God would bless them with a baby. His prayers were answered when, after more than 10 years of marriage, Indiana Boon Feek was born on February 17, 2014.
The couple delighted in their baby—which is part of the reason Joey’s cancer diagnosis was so devastating. Rory talks openly and emotionally about the heartbreaking day they realized that Joey’s cancer was not responding to treatment, and that they would not be raising baby Indiana together.
… Joey sat beside me on a glider on our back deck and cried and cried. But not because of the news that the cancer had spread and there was nothing more the doctors could do. She cried because Indy was going to lose her mama, and I was going to be a single father again. Joey knew how hard it had been for us for all those years before she came along and she was upset that she was going to leave me in the same situation. I remember her tears falling and her saying, ‘I don’t want you to have to raise a child again by yourself… it’s not fair’. Though I was worried about the reality of what was probably in our future, I tried to smile as I wiped Joey’s tears and said, “it’s okay honey… now we know why God chose me to be with you”. I realized then that God knew what was in store and all those years by myself with the girls was Him preparing me for the job of caring for Indiana.
He says he and Joey dealt with their grief in that moment they only way they could—they got on their knees and prayed to the God they knew held their future in His hands. After that, says Rory, “…our tears were replaced by hope and trust that God’s plan was perfect and that somehow, someway… everything would be okay. We never cried over that again. We just celebrated everyday that we were given together, and tried our best to prepare for the day when those days together would be no more.”
Rory goes on to say that although Joey now rests “in a bed of clover behind our farmhouse, we still celebrate her on this special day and lift her up and give her flowers.” He says Mother’s Day will always be Joey’s day, and that he will always be thankful for the gift she gave him. The gift of their daughter Indiana, and the gift of being a father again.
Rory deals with single fatherhood by keeping Joey’s memory close, saying he sees Joey whenever he looks at little Indy, and that “…all the pain and fear that I feel melts away… and it’s replaced by the feeling of how lucky I am…that we are. Indy’s so beautiful.. When I look into her little eyes… all I see is love.”
Whew! What a beautiful read. Rory Feek truly has such a way with words, and I am sure, a way with his little girl. God bless you, Rory, as with God’s help and guidance you raise Indiana to be an amazing woman, just like her mama Joey.