“Love Is a Feeling You Should Pray For.” Rory Feek Is Raising a Daughter Alone and Keeps Memories of His Wife Who Passed Away
Vocalists Rory and Joey met at a songwriter’s night, and this meeting marked the beginning of their creative and romantic partnership. The couple got married in 2002, and 12 years later, their daughter Indiana was born. Their peaceful, love- and music-filled life continued until Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
By this time, the duo “Joey + Rory” had already gained popularity, released several albums, and made it to the charts where the most famous and beloved country songs were played.
When Joey’s pregnancy became known, the couple decided to take a break in their musical career and spend a year at home. In February 2014, their daughter was born. The girl was born with Down syndrome.
“God blessed us with a special gift. Her name is Indiana. Mom and the baby are doing well,” Rory Feek wrote on his Instagram page.
A few months later, Joey Feek was diagnosed with cancer. At first, it seemed like she was able to easily overcome the disease. The singer underwent surgery and went through a course of treatment, after which doctors reported that nothing was threatening their patient’s health anymore.
In June 2015, Feek started feeling bad again. An examination showed that the cancer had not only returned, but had also metastasized. A month later, Joey underwent a second operation — much longer and more complicated than the first.
Even during this difficult period, Joey did not lose her optimism and sincerely smiled in photos, while Rory was happy that the treatment was helping and his wife was getting better.
For a while, the country singer was able to return to her music career and continued working on the next album with her husband. However, she would occasionally become so tired that she would fall asleep right on the couch in the studio.
The Feeks continued to lead an active life, combining work and Joey’s treatment. The couple could host their morning show together and then fly to Atlanta, where the singer underwent a course of procedures. Little Indiana could also accompany them on their travels.
Joey did not forget to devote attention to other family members. In August 2015, Rory posted a photo on his blog showing his wife with his two daughters from a previous marriage visiting a spa salon.
In October 2015, fans of the country duo learned that Joey’s cancer was incurable, and the couple made the decision to stop the useless chemotherapy and radiation treatments that the singer had undergone for several months.
A month later, Joey Feek was placed in hospice care, where she was under constant medical observation. Family members did not leave her without support during this difficult time. The singer was able to celebrate Indiana’s second birthday and Valentine’s Day with the baby and Rory.
Joey learned that their duet was nominated for a Grammy Award for their song “If I Needed You” and heard their final studio recording with her husband. Shortly after, on March 4, 2016, she passed away. Rory buried her on the family cemetery at their farm in Fix.
After saying goodbye to his wife, Rory was inconsolable. He continued to share his feelings with his followers and posted archived photos and videos with Joey on his blog, remembering the happy moments of their life together.
Communicating with his younger daughter became a real outlet for him. Indiana inherited a love of music from both parents. As a young child, she could sit on her father’s lap and strum the guitar strings.
Nowadays, Rory has dedicated himself to raising his growing daughter. He lives with Indiana on the family farm and shares posts about their country life on his Instagram page and personal blog.
The singer started this blog in the year of his daughter’s birth. It includes the story of Joey’s last months of pregnancy and a detailed account of her battle with an incurable illness. “We began keeping these records as an ordinary family history,” Rory wrote in the title of his online diary.
After Joey passed away, Rory decided to continue writing his blog and sharing news with his followers. In February 2023, he announced that Indiana had turned 9 years old and told how the close-knit Fix family celebrated her birthday.
Rory Feek was only able to return to his music career 5 years after Joey’s passing. His first solo album was released in June 2021.
Before that, Rory began filming a documentary series called The Life I Live, which premiered in March 2020. He also told the story of his love in the full-length film To Joey, with Love.
The video footage used in this film was taken during Joey’s battle with cancer. Those days from the singer’s life, along with her family and friends, became a vivid testament to the fact that one can feel like a complete human being even when not physically healthy.
Rory Feek tried his hand at writing and released several children’s books: Once Upon a Farm, The Cow Said Neigh!, The Day God Made You, and The Little Rooster.
And of course, Rory’s most popular book was dedicated to his late wife. His 2017 memoir This Life I Live: One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever made it onto many prestigious best books lists.
“Love is a powerful feeling you should pray for,” says Rory Feek. He admits that he still misses Joey and thinks of her every day.