Easter is the first holiday Rory Feek is spending without his wife Joey. Earlier in the month, Joey passed away after nine months of suffering from terminal cancer. Easter also happened to be Joey's favorite holiday. Rory Feek also explains that the holiday has him thinking of a particular Bible verse, John 3:30: "He must become greater; I must become less." While the verse is John the Baptist speaking of how his ministry will lessen as Jesus' grows, John 3:30 makes Feek think of how his wife prepared Indy (and, by extension, her husband) for life after her death.
"Indy has not asked for her mama. Not one single time since Joey's been gone. It's almost as if she hasn't noticed that she's not here," Rory Feek confesses. "And that is so sad ... and oh, so wonderful - all at the same time."
In his touching blog, Rory explains how Joey prepares Indy for a life without her mama. "When we first got to Indiana in late October, Joey was Indy's whole world. Everyone else was... well, just everyone else. Including me. She loved her mama so much and all she wanted was to be with her, beside her or in-sight of her. But in early November, when Joey started to realize that there was a good chance that she might not beat her battle with cancer, she made a decision..."he must become greater and I must become less."
And she started going against everything in her being that told her "time was short" so hold her baby even tighter... and longer... and more... and instead - she handed the baby to me, and sat alone in a bed and watched and listened as my relationship with Indy grew...and hers lessoned.
I still remember the day a few weeks later when I was sitting on the couch near Joey's bed and Indy was playing on the floor at my feet and Joey looked over at me and said, "she needs you now... ". I looked at Joey and saw the look on her face and knew what she meant, and I wanted to cry. But she just smiled and said, "...it's best this way honey".
Who does that? Who has that kind of strength and character? Not me, that's for sure. I would've taken the low, easy road... the one that served me more. I would've tried to make the ties with our baby stronger and her love for me deeper so that she wouldn't forget me... and in the end, probably left our baby wrecked with grief over the loss of the one person she loved and needed most. But not Joey. She let Indy fall more in love with me...and less in love with her. She carried the pain on her own shoulders, to try to keep it off of mine. And even more so, off of Indy's.
Don't get me wrong, there were still lots of times in those last few months that I put Indy in her mama's lap and they spent time together, loving and enjoying each other. But it was never the same. Indiana loved her mama... but she wanted me. She needed me.
Thank you Joey.
No, Indy doesn't quite understand what has happened. Why her papa is sad. Why friends hug us so tightly, and why tears fall from strangers' eyes when they say hello to us. But she will. She may not realize right now how incredible her mama is, but she will. I have made a career out of documenting our lives, and her mother... with songs and video and pictures and they are everywhere. I will play them for her. And tucked away in her little heart will be all of the beautiful memories of these first two years that she has shared with her mama and when the time is right, she will find them and they will make her smile. Yes she will remember. I believe that.
Indy and I go and visit 'mama' every day.
We make the walk or ride into the backfield, to the spot where Joey rests and we sit down beside her temporary wooden cross. I talk with my bride about what has happened that day, and what I'm worried or excited about... and I share the latest thing that Indiana is doing."