It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when it’s someone you have grown to love, which is why Joey Feek was inconsolable when she had to say goodbye to her best friend Jules, realizing she may never see her again.
Aside from Rory, Joey’s husband and duet partner, Julie (Jules) Zamboldi has been one of Joey’s biggest supporters since she was diagnosed with end stage cancer in 2014. According to a recent post by Rory on his blog This Life I Live, Joey and Rory met Jules and her husband Joey nearly eight years ago at their first “Big & Buckle Festival,” which was held outdoors at their home. Hundreds of people came to the event, including Jules and Joey. The couple was so impressed with Joey and Rory, they started traveling to their other concerts all over the United States.
It didn’t take long for Joey and Rory to make friends with Jules and Joey, and they eventually started inviting them to their private events and to stay at their home when they were in Tennessee. Over the years, Joey and Jules became very close friends. Jules has been running Joey and Rory’s Facebook page since they decided to take a year off a couple years ago, and she is also the one to send out their newsletters and Christmas cards. She has been there for the Feek’s in the good times and bad, and has stayed by Joey’s side as she fights her battle with cancer.
“Like an angel from heaven, it was as if God sent Julie to us. To her. But none of us exactly knew why, until the cancer showed up again this summer,” Rory wrote in the post titled “St. Jules.”
When Joey decided to stop treatment in October after being told her cancer had returned and spread to her colon, Jules rode the bus with them to Indiana to visit Joey’s family. When Joey started losing her hair, Jules was one of the first people to shave their head so Joey wouldn’t feel self-conscious.
“Julie is Joey’s best friend,” Rory continued. “I didn’t know that for a long time, but she is.”
Rory said he had a hard time determining who Joey’s “best friend” was. As he has done before, Rory explained that he is “fiercely protective” of his wife, and didn’t want to decide her best friend for her or hurt anyone’s feelings when they read his blog. However, he could not deny that Jules was in fact Joey’s best friend, and would do anything for her.
“And now, here we are. Months later and as Joey’s condition has continued to improve, then worsen, again and again… Julie has made three trips home to Washington and is back here with us again,” Rory wrote. “She’s been here all week, helping Joey’s sister Jody take care of my wife and me and everyone else. She cooks, she cleans, changes the baby’s diaper, and does any and everything else that she can find to do that needs to be done while we’re living here out of suitcases… not waiting for someone we love to die. But helping the woman we all love to live.”
Jules was supposed to leave this evening to fly back to Oregon where her and Joe live. However, as she started packing her things to go, Joey started crying.
“She was inconsolable,” Rory wrote. “I put my arms around her and asked what was wrong. As her lips quivered and she tried to catch her breath, the tears streamed her cheeks and Joey said, ‘I don’t think I will ever see her again…'”
Even though Jules had already stayed over a week, and even though she was ready to go home to her husband, she did what best friends do… she stayed.
“And so at the Indianapolis airport this evening, a plane will take off and Saint Jules (as Joey’s daddy calls her) won’t be on it. Instead, she will be be with her best friend”
“And as God would have it, the tables have turned and now it’s easy to see…”
“Joey and I are Julie’s biggest fans.”
[Photo via This Life I Live]