Joey and Rory Feek have had a lot of supporters during Joey’s battle with terminal cancer. However, there is one person who has remained a constant, not just through the hard times, but throughout the majority of Rory’s life.
According to a new post on Rory’s blog This Life I Live, Joey and Rory’s manager Aaron Carnahan, who is also Rory’s cousin, has been by their side every step of the way from the early teenage years to standing beside them at their wedding and managing their careers.
“We grew up separately, together. My family followed his across the country many times in search of work and a better life,” Rory wrote of his childhood with Aaron. “We often found ourselves living in the same towns, and when times were really hard, even the same house.”
“During our high school years, Aaron spent dozens of nights camped out beside me on the living room floor in our little house… through one particular winter when we had no heat and had to hang blankets over the doorways, because we also had no doors,” Rory continued. “It didn’t matter to him that just across town his family had a nice warm home and his room had a heated waterbed.”
Although Rory and Aaron somewhat drifted apart as adults, their lives paralleled each other in an almost ever aspect. The eery similarities are something Rory doesn’t describe as coincidence, but rather as God working in mysterious ways.
“While in the service, I got married, had two daughters and was divorced within a couple of years,” Rory wrote. “He too got married, had two daughters and divorced. His third child, Greg, who is 25 now, has down syndrome. My third daughter, little Indiana with her sweet almond eyes, didn’t come along for me until many years later.”
It was actually Aaron’s choice to become a Christian that led Rory to his faith. Rory admitted that it was “Aaron’s journey to faith that played a huge part in leading me to find mine.”
When Aaron married his second wife, Rory prayed every night to find the right woman to share his life with. Aaron had the marriage he had hoped and dreamed of, and Rory wanted the same thing. Not long after, Rory met Joey at a local cafe and they were married in 2002.
Aside from the similarities between Aaron and Rory’s life, their wives Jill and Joey also had very similar lives that she says couldn’t be explained by pure coincidence.
“Aaron’s wife Jill grew up in the same farmhouse in Illinois her whole life,” Rory continued. “She has 4 siblings whose names all begin with letter J… Jeff, Jason, Jeremy and Jamie. My wife Joey grew up in the same farmhouse in Indiana her whole life and she has 4 siblings also. Their names are Jody, Julie, Justin and Jessie.”
As intriguing as it is, some of the similarities were heartbreaking. While in med school, Jill was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and made a full recovery. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Joey Feek was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer in May 2014. She underwent a radical hysterectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, but the cancer returned and started aggressively spreading. Joey made the decision to stop treatment, and entered hospice care in October 2015.
“When I called Aaron in May of 2014 and told him that the doctors suspected that Joey had a tumor on her cervix… he couldn’t take any more,” Rory recalled. “I remember him crying on the phone and saying… ‘you can’t have this. This is where it has to stop…’ That was the one place where the paralleling of our lives was almost too much for him to bare. I think he’s cried more tears over what is happening right now than all of us put together.”
Rory chose to write the blog post in honor of Aaron’s 48th birthday to express his gratitude for all of the things his cousin has done for him and Joey over the years.
“Today is my best friend Aaron’s birthday,” Rory wrote. “He’s 48 years young. Though he is with his wife in Colorado, and I am with mine here in Indiana… we know his heart is with us, and he knows our heart is there with him.”
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Associated Press]