Country music duo Joey + Rory first became known to those who loved their soft, sweet and true sound. But when news broke that Joey Feek had been diagnosed with cancer, her husband Rory Feek shared their journey of courage, strength, and faith in a way that touched millions around the world. Joey lost her battle with terminal cancer earlier this month, and Rory has kept her memory alive on his blog, "This Life I Live."
"We took one final tour-bus ride home. To Joey's town. To grieve with and celebrate with the people in her community. And to lift up one of their own with tears and joy and songs and speeches."For Feek, the bittersweet experience followed the even more heartbreaking task of burying Joey on the family farm in Pottsville, Tennessee on March 10. Accompanied always by their little girl, 2-year-old Indiana, Feek then headed to his wife's hometown. Those at the memorial in her high school gymnasium ranged from friends to family as well as community members. During the service, Rory spoke about his appreciation to the town. Feek expressed his emotional pain in viewing a video about Joey as well as never-ending love for her.
"Indy and I stood and watched a video honoring her mama. It was hard and beautiful to watch at the same time," admitted Feek.
Rory thanked those who had offered their support, recalling Joey's spirit again.
"The whole day was so special. Thank you to everyone who was there and to everyone who wished they could be there with us. Like me, I know my wife would've found a way to see the beauty in this sad day," added Feek.
"I never paid for a piece of pizza while we were there the past five months. Or an oil change. Or hardly even a meal at a restaurant. I've been hugged by cashiers at Home Depot and had people cry in my arms in the produce aisle of the grocery store. I've had waitresses pray with me in restaurants and neighbors drop off home cooked meals day-and-night to the house we were staying in."The lesson, pointed out Rory, is that people truly care, showing him that they felt his own pain and sought ways to make his struggle and Joey's battle "a little easier." Throughout his journey, Feek has shared every milestone, including the initial shock of Joey's diagnosis, their nomination for a Grammy, the celebration for their daughter's second birthday, and the last days before Joey passed at age 40. What he discovered, noted Rory, is that the Internet can be a beautiful community of those helping each other.
"The internet is...a place where people can come together and share their hopes and their fears. A great big beautiful community of strangers… struggling, hurting, celebrating and needing each other. A great big, small town. Our town," added Feek.
Those seeking a way to honor Joey can do so by contributing to a music scholarship set up by her friends, reported WISH TV.
Because Feek graduated from Alexandria-Monroe High School, those who went to school with her felt that the music scholarship fund was the best way to maintain her memory, and they have set up a Go Fund Me page.
"Music was her passion, so we figured music was the way to go," explained one classmate.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]