This is the first mother's day, Rory Feek and his two year-old daughter Indiana are spending without Joey. On March 4th this year, Joey passed away after a nine month bout with terminal cancer. Their last album together Hymns that Are Important to Us was released less than a month before Joey's death. The hymns album was not only a #1 album on both Billboard's Christian and country music charts, the couple were also nominated for a Grammy earlier in the year.
On the first mother's day without Joey, Rory reflects on being a father. "I love being a father. I always have. Joey always said that that's part of what attracted her to me when we first met. But neither she, nor I, had any idea how important that would be to us years later.
For years after Joey and I got married, I dreamed that God might bless her and me with a baby. A baby that we could love and cherish and raise together. A child that was part her, part me, and all Him. And part of that dream was that I might be given a second chance at being a father. So when Indiana came along, it was a dream come true in more ways than most people know."
Naturally, Indiana brought the Feeks great joy. But when Joey discovered she had cancer, she was saddened and hurt. Rory writes: "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."
However, it was prayer and God who helped the couple with their doubts and fears. "But we just did what we always did when we were confused and hurt and scared... we got on our knees, held hands and we prayed. Soon, 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."
On Mother's Day, Rory and Indiana went to Joey's grave (behind their home) and celebrated with her. "Though my beautiful wife sleeps in a bed of clover behind our farmhouse, we still celebrate her on this special day and lift her up and give her flowers. This is not my day. It is hers. Joey loved being a mother more than anything else in the world. And she is still Indy's mama."