‘Different is not less.’
Country star Rory Feek blogged about Joey, his wife of 14 years, during her struggles through stage 4 cervical cancer and now talks about the angel she left behind for him.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – In his blog, This Life I Live, Feek explained what life was like once the love of his life passed away.
Joey chose hospice and passed away earlier this year, leaving Feek to raise their 2-year-old daughter, Indiana, alone.
Without Joey, Feek has been tending to Indiana, who was born with Down Syndrome.
In the blog, he shared the moments he gets to share with Indiana.
“As I sit down to write this morning Indiana is stirring in her crib,” he began on Tuesday’s post. “She is starting the process of waking up and beginning her day…and though I’ve been up for awhile now, beginning mine too.”
He proceeded to share how Indiana is such a gift in his life.
“As I’ve been spending this summer working on Joey’s film, I have been given the gift of seeing our lives unfold once more, right in front of me – day by day and week by week – but this time with hind-sight,” Feek wrote.
“With perspective. I was able to watch the story as it was happening, but also be outside of it, because I already know how it ends. Or more truthfully, how it begins again two years later with just Indy and I.”
Feek told Today he has been blogging for over two years to keep a record of the important moments in his life with Joey and Indiana.
He was happily surprised at how well the public received his posts and admitted: “Strangers will walk up to me and say, ‘are you…’ and they can’t get words out. I will nod and before I can introduce myself, 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.”
Feek spends each morning with India and reads a daily devotional called “Jesus Calling” before reading a bit from the Bible.
Daily Mail explained how difficult Joey’s passing was, particularly since it happened on Mother’s Day.
Alone with Indiana, Feek shared his joy at knowing the little girl in his life keeps him going.
While many debate the merits of raising children with Downs Syndrome, Feek wrote: “When we first learned that Indy had down-syndrome, Joey and I weren’t really sure what to think, or what it meant to our lives and hers.
Joey and indiana (Joey + Rory/YouTube).
“Over the years at the concerts we’d played and in our travels, we had met a number of young-adults and older people that had downs. including our manager’s grown son Greg, but we never knew any, not really. Especially babies.
“All we really knew was that Indy had an extra chromosome and that was going to make her different. She would look different and develop slower, but outside of that, we weren’t really sure of anything else. Until we called the people around us.
“Everyone was anxious to hear how the birth had gone and how Joey and the baby were doing, and so in those first few days, I dialed and spoke to many close friends and family members and told them that it all went well, and then I told them how the doctors suspected that she has down-syndrome. And almost everyone said the same thing. ‘I’m so sorry.’
“That’s such a strange response to the birth of a child. Maybe they were just sensing the confusion in my voice or more likely, they didn’t know what to say. I didn’t and don’t think anything negative about their responses. I probably would’ve said the same thing in their shoes. It’s what society has told told them – told all of us…’awe, you didn’t get a regular baby…you got something less…a burden that will last a lifetime.
“And I get it. That’s the message that is out there most I think. But it’s wrong. At least I think it is. And I know Joey did too.
“God doesn’t make mistakes.
“Indiana is not less than any other child. Different is not less. Having down-syndrome doesn’t make her life any less meaningful than someone else’s or her dreams or feelings any less important. Not as a child and I suspect, not in the years to come when she grows to be an adult.”
Feek’s trust in God is amazing. He and Joey both recognized the gift the Lord provided when he sent them Indiana.
“The world has told us that they are less,” he wrote. “A mistake. But I don’t believe they are…When she was born, Joey and I said, ‘this is the child God wants us to have’ and we believed it. And we were right.
“I can not imagine Joey not having those two years to be a mama to Indiana and get to experience the love and happiness that Indy brought to her. God knew that. He made it so. It was His gift to her. Like Indy is my gift now. She is the smile on the face of [a] father who should be crying. She is the joy in the life of a family that should be filled with sadness.
“…I’m excited too. Excited to be her papa. And to see who she becomes…and who I become because she’s in my life. I still have so much to learn and I have no doubt that while I’m teaching her…she will be teaching me.
“No, God doesn’t make mistakes.”