It has been over three months since Joey Feek died. Over the weekend, Rory Feek returned to his late wife's home state of the first time since her death. As expected, the journey was filled with a range of raw emotions.
"This past weekend, Indy and I went home to Indiana...without Joey. It was the first time that we'd been back there, since my wife's passing in early March. I was excited and nervous about the trip at the same time. Part of me wasn't ready to go back. Not yet. But another part of me knew it was the right thing, and believed that it would be healing for us. And it was," Rory conveyed in his most recent This Life I Live blog entry.
Joey + Rory Feek are not only accomplished country music singers but their latest album Hymns that Are Important to Us is currently sitting at #1 on Billboard Christian Abum chart. While visiting Joey's hometown, Rory also spent time with close friend, mentor and Gospel legend Bill Gaither.
Bill talked of the impact that Joey's life has made on the community there and around the world. And I got the chance to thank him again for all of of the love and support that he and Gloria have shown us through what had turned out to be a beautiful, difficult time.
Then we all went across the pond and Bill opened up the house for us that we had stayed in while we were there those last few months in Indiana. Joey's daddy had come to that house often he said. Most days he stops by and just sits outside. "This is where I feel Joey the most", he told us, '...where she lived last". But he'd not been inside since that day in March when his daughter left us, exactly three months before.
As I walked through the house and let the memories come flooding back, Bill and Jack stood on the porch and visited... to give me some time. Time that I desperately needed. To remember all that we went through. All the she went through.
The place was different. And strangely the same. It was all put back exactly the way it was before we moved in. Before we laughed and loved and cried and said goodbye in those rooms.
Then Bill came inside and did for me, what he always used to do for my sweet wife. He sat down at the piano and played a song. And not just any song. Our song. The one that Joey sang to me when I had asked God for a sign that 'she was the one'. The one that was played at my father's funeral. And the one that Joey's mama and daddy played at our wedding. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" was a song originally recorded by Jim Reeves in the 1950's. And it was instrumental in our lives coming together. It's a long story...one that I hope to share in length another time.
Bill played our song. For me. For Joey's daddy. And for Joey.
Later, Rory had dinner with Joey's family at her childhood home.
"It had been strange to be there again. In Indiana. With Indiana. Without Joey. To sleep upstairs in the bedroom that my wife had spent her childhood sleeping in and know that she'll never lay beside me there again and tell me stories of her childhood. To be in her home, with her family, without her. It was hard. And good. And wrong. And also right. So, so right," Rory reflects.