Musician, widow and single dad Rory Feek is no stranger to heartache and illness. Joey Feek, Rory’s beloved wife, passed away in March 2016.
Now, Rory has shared the sorrow of a new tragedy to befall his family.
Just before Mother’s Day–the first without Joey for Rory and their daughter Indiana, Rory received a call from his cousin Marvin. A big, strong, tough guy, Rory answered the phone call and heard his cousin sobbing on the other end of the line.
In an instant, Rory knew that something was terribly wrong. The words he heard his family member speak simply broke his heart.
Marvin’s granddaughter, eight, had been battling cancer for two years. Shortly before Mother’s Day, the little girl lost that battle and left earth to be with her Lord and Savior.
Rory was grief-stricken all over again, haunted by another loved one’s death.
“Now my pain and my loss is great and my wife’s struggle was something that neither she nor I would’ve ever wanted to have had to go through. But compared to losing your little one. Joey would have given her life up again without blinking. And I would’ve given mine.”
The one silver lining, Rory wrote in his blog, was that his cousin’s daughter Aimee had been scared she wouldn’t know anyone in heaven when it was her turn to go. Her parents reassured her that her grandpa and Joey would both be there to welcome her.
Rory wrote that he tries very hard to write blogs that are “positive and filled with hope.” It’s a place where he tries to stay in both his heart and his thoughts, even during times of great sorrow.
He often receives emails from people who have their own sad story to share, so he aims to be positive not just for himself and Indiana, but for his followers.
“But it’s not easy. Life is hard sometimes and why one person is dealt a difficult hand while another gets a royal flush is impossible to understand.”
What really shook the family to their core was when doctors gave Aimee three weeks to live. Little Aimee climbed into Marvin’s big bear hug arms after the diagnosis and asked if she could die at his house. The giant of a man obliged and moved a hospice bed into his home so the family could gather around Aimee when she slipped away.
That phone call Rory received from his cousin Marvin made him realize that it wouldn’t be just his family struggling on Mother’s Day with the loss of loved ones, but moms everywhere who have faced the loss of their children and kids without their mothers, like his own.
Rory’s own mom passed away from cancer 1.5 years before Joey did. His sister battled breast cancer, too. But his mom and his wife chose to live life to the fullest, a lesson Rory wanted to share through his blog.
“The emails I get and comments people write, mean that our story is helping someone. That Joey’s life and death is giving new life to others. That her example of being a light, even when there was darkness all around her, can make a difference to someone else this Mother’s Day and every day.”
While the family continues to mourn the loss of Joey and now Aimee, both are together now in heaven with other loved ones. Prayers go out to Rory and his family.