To say that March was an overwhelming time for Rory Feek is an understatement. On March 4, Rory's beloved wife Joey Feek died after nine months of suffering from terminal cancer. A private funeral followed on March 8. Then on March 13, a public memorial was organized by family friend and Gospel music veteran Bill Gaither in her hometown of Alexandria, Ind.. Over the course of these few months,fans and friends have showered the Feeks with love, care, and practical help.
Fans have also made the Feeks' final album Hymns that Are Important to Us #1 on both Billboard's Christian and country music albums charts. Rory expresses his gratitude to all his fans and friends, he writes. "Thank you to everyone who was there and to everyone who wished they could be there with us. Like me, I know my wife would've found a way to see the beauty in this sad day.
"I would also like to thank the wonderful town of Alexandria, Ind. Joey's town. My town," he continues. "A place that might have seen its better days but is striving to make its best days yet to come. A place where factories have closed their doors and jobs are scarce ... where its values and faith are being challenged at every turn ... but it still somehow knows what is most important and shows it to its children and to strangers that come to visit, like me."
Feek recalls the kindness of Alexandria's residents as he and his family spent Joey Feek's final months there: "I never paid for a piece of pizza while we were there the past five months. Or an oil change. Or hardly even a meal at a restaurant. I've been hugged by cashiers at Home Depot and had people cry in my arms in the produce aisle of the grocery store. I've had waitresses pray with me in restaurants and neighbors drop off home cooked meals day-and-night to the house we were staying in. Someone even saw that, in one of my posts, there was a Nestle water bottle sitting by Joey's nightstand, and a day later, an employee from that company dropped off two dozen cases of water in our garage ... and they kept bringing more cases. Right to the very end."
"People just want to help. They feel your hurt and want to share your pain," Rory Feek adds. "They made something hard, a little easier."
Even back home in Franklin, Feek is experiencing kindness from so many of those around him. While writing his newest post, Feek says, "I have had a dozen people stop by my table to hug me, tell me they're praying for my family and or just say they love me and Joey and Indy. And none of them are people that I've ever met before." Someone even anonymously paid for his meal.
"Sometimes I think the internet is a big, scary place. A place where only dark things happen and the worst in people and life get lifted up. But I don't think that way anymore," Feek concludes. "I think the internet is also a place where people can come together and share their hopes and their fears. A great big beautiful community of strangers ... struggling, hurting, celebrating and needing each other. A great big, small town. Our town."