Rory Lee Feek held a few somber milestones this week. It was the first Father’s Day and first anniversary since the love of his life, Joey, passed away.
Joey and Rory, both singers and songwriters in Nashville, met and eventually married in 2002. They formed the country music duo Joey + Rory. For over 12 years, they lived, loved and sang, until Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
For the next year and a half, the couple would document on their blog, THISLIFEILIVE, the heartbreaking struggle as Joey’s condition worsened. Joey’s cancer eventually overtook her. She died on March 4 at the age of 40.
About this week, Rory wrote:
“Yesterday, June 15th, was our anniversary. In the early morning, I carried a thermos and our two favorite mugs across the back field and shared a cup of coffee with my bride as the sun came up over the wooden cross with her name on it. I talked and she listened. Or at least, I hoped that somewhere, somehow, she could hear me. And I felt her presence the way I do most days since she’s been gone…in my heart, and in my soul. And I pulled out my iPhone and pushed play… and we watched a movie trailer together as my tears fell.”
Rory’s post this week retraced his journey with his beloved. He told of how he and his daughter revisited the very restaurant where Joey had "bound up the stairs" in September of 2001 and landed right in front of him. He pondered over the spot where their wedding cake had sat and remembered his many dances with the love of his life, including their last.
Rory stated that he wasn’t much of a gift giver, but this September, when his wife should be turning 41, he will be breathing her life back into this world.
“Joey didn’t live to see her 41st birthday, but this September, just a week or so after her birthday on the 9th… my wife will get the chance to live again. On a movie screen, her heart will start beating and her story will come to life once more and it will be my gift to her. And to our girls. And to our friends and family and all who loved her.”
Filming for a full-length documentary film began just after their youngest, Indiana, was born in February of 2014 and continued through this past spring, when Joey went home.
“A film about our lives during that two-and-a-half years. Our love. Our struggles. And even more so, about our faith in God and our hope in a plan… bigger than the one we can see with our own eyes.”
“To Joey, with Love” will be in theaters for a one-night event on September 20. Rory posted a preview of the video to his blog.
"We believed God would give us a great story... And he did!" Rory said in the trailer.
The website tojoeywithlove.com has more details about the film and how to get tickets.
“And maybe, just maybe…someone might find some encouragement in it. In their marriage, or in their suffering, or in their faith, or something else…”
Rory ended his post pledging to continue to tell the story of Joey and his love, as well as to continue to help write the story with his children. He ended the post simply stating “Happy Anniversary my love.”