Country singer Rory Feek says each morning he watches the sleeping breaths of his dying wife, Joey Martin Feek, and reads from a daily devotional called "Jesus Calling" as well as the Bible. Joey, who is only 40 years old and dying from stage 4 cervical cancer, chose hospice care over additional treatment in October. For the past two years, Rory has chronicled and publicly shared their life's journey.
Rory answered poignant questions this week from Today's Health and Wellness staffer, Chris Serico. The supportive husband assured that their "faith has shaped their path."
Rory said he has been surprised at how many strangers know about his family's life. "They will grab me and hug me and their tears will just start streaming down. It's amazing and humbling how deeply people seem to feel what we feel, and care for us."
The mornings in Indiana are hard and beautiful at the same time, he said. Joey returned from Tennessee to her home state and family's house for hospice. Her sister, Jody, is a nurse and stays by her side in another bed throughout the night.
Rory described his mornings starting down the hall from Joey's room with their 22-month-old daughter, Indiana, waking up at 5 a.m. He said he always goes to watch Joey sleep and see if she's OK.
"I can hear her breathe and see the light from across the pond cast a gentle glow on her face. Most times I just stand for a few moments and take the moment in ... and remember where we are ... where she is ... where God has us," he told Today.
Every moment that Joey gets with their baby, and that Indiana gets with her mama is Rory's most favorite moment.
On days Joey is feeling strong enough, Rory said she sings hymns or children's songs to Indiana. "For a few minutes Joey isn't a woman dying of cancer connected to a machine with morphine ... she's a mother connected to her baby by love."
The couple's last album together "Hymns That Are Important To Us," will be released at Cracker Barrels nationwide starting Feb. 12. Rory said the album is special to Joey because it's filled with songs she grew up singing in church and her mother sang to her all through her childhood.
"It's the last album we will ever make (as husband-wife country duo Joey + Rory) and the last songs that we will ever sing together. That makes it very, very special to Joey and me."
He said he hopes Joey and he will get to watch next month's Grammy program together, and see what occurs with their nomination.
Rory reminds everyone to live in the present and make the most of each day because none of us have forever. "Win or lose, together or separated by fate ... Joey will be right beside me then, and every moment before and after that day. If not in person, then in my heart. Always."
Previous Gospel Herald stories regarding the Feeks include: