Joey and Rory Feek tied the knot in 2002, and have been a reminder of how strong love can be ever since. Although Joey is nearing her final days on Earth, she took the time to talk exclusively to People Magazine, about her fairytale marriage to Rory, and how she fell “head over heels” for him the second she heard him sing.
“Rory was singing ‘In the Round’ at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville with three other songwriters,” Joey said of the day she first laid eyes on Rory. “I was just one of dozens of people in the audience that night. From the first song Rory sang, I fell head over heels for him.”
“I didn’t even know him, but something inside me said, ‘You’re going to marry that man and spend the rest of your lives together.’ “
As fate would have it, Joey and Rory were married just two months later, and decided to take on the world as a country music duo. In 2008, they participated in CMT’s reality singing competition Can You Duet, ultimately walking away with third place. While they didn’t win the competition, it kicked off their careers and led them to tour the United States and make multiple albums, DVDs, and television shows. Joey and Rory continued their music, even hosting private events in their barn at their home in Tennessee.
While Rory already had two older daughters, Heidi, 29, and Hopie, 27, Joey didn’t have any children of her own. The couple decided to expand their family, and welcomed their daughter, Indiana (Indy), in February, 2014. What should have been the happiest time of their life, however, was cut short when Joey was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer three months later.
In May, 2014, Joey went to the doctor, who told her she had end stage cervical cancer. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, Joey later underwent a radical hysterectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Although she appeared to be doing better, an October, 2015, scan revealed that Joey’s cancer had not only returned, but had spread to other parts of her body, including her colon. Joey was left with two options: continue chemo and radiation knowing it would only buy her time, not a cure, or say enough is enough. Joey chose the latter option and decided to return to her home to live out the rest of her life surrounded by her family in hospice care.
The news obviously devastated Joey’s family, friends, and fans, but no one more than her husband, Rory, who always thought Joey would be the one taking care of him one day. He said Joey’s cancer diagnosis made him a better husband, and made him realize the importance of the words “for better or worse.”
“I’m 10 years older than Joey and I always knew that when I get old or if something were to happen to me, Joey would be there beside me no matter what,” Rory told People Magazine. “No matter how hard it was, no matter how I looked or what we faced, she would be there. But I never dreamed that the roles might be reversed and life might require those things from me.”
“For better or worse aren’t just words you say anymore,” he continued. “Because of all Joey is going through, it’s given me the opportunity to live them every day, and follow through and mean the words I said to her at the altar.”
[Photo by Richard Vogel/Associated Press]