Joey Feek is fighting to stay strong as two major milestones she was hoping to survive to see are fast approaching, and both happening within the next week.
Rory Feek shared a photo of his wife sitting in her hospice bed and staring out the window at the sun and snow on Thursday, saying she had just been played the hymn ‘Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior’ on the piano by their friend and gospel singer Bill Gaither.
Joey said when she was first received her terminal diagnosis that she hoped to live to see her daughter Indiana, who has Down’s syndrome, celebrate her second birthday.
She then added to that in December when she learned that she and Rory had been nominated for their first Grammy, and that the ceremony would take place just a few days before her daughter’s big day.
The Grammy Awards are Monday, and Indiana turns two on Wednesday.
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Touching: Rory Feek shared a photo of his wife Joey staring out the window from her hospice bed on Thursday after listening to some hymns (above)
Baby girl: Joey said after being diagnosed she hoped to be able to survive long enough to see her daughter Indiana (above on Thursday) celebrate her second birthday
Strength: Joey (above with her husband and friends last month) was given just six months to live by doctors in October after her stage IV cervical cancer diagnosis
Earlier this week Joey was visited by the pastor who married her and Rory as well as his wife for some evening prayers.
Rory posted a photo of the pastor and his wife standing by Joey in her hospice bed, writing; ‘Blessed w a beautiful visit and time of prayer last night from our sweet friends Mike & Sally Rosser. Mike is the pastor who married us almost 14 years ago.’
He also posted a photo that showed how Joey is keeping daughter Indiana and step-daughters Heidi and Hopie close to her heart in her final days – with necklaces engraved with each of their names.
In a recent blog post, Rory wrote about how close he his wife had become in these final days – and how close they have always been since they first met.
‘My wife will tell you… I really do believe in magic. Not the kind with cards tricks or rabbits being pulled out of hats, but the kind that God does – where He brings something out of you and your life that you never-in-a-million-years thought was possible…’, writes Rory.
‘Like our beautiful marriage… or our music career… or the greatest magic of all in our lives… our little Indiana. She’s the most precious addition that God has given us.’
He then addressed the difficulty of what their family is dealing with as Joey fights cancer.
‘Joey and I both have questions. Lots of them. Hard questions that we don’t have any answers for. But still, we have faith – we choose to believe.
‘I think that’s why they call it faith. If we knew all the answers, no faith would be required.
‘And so Joey and I do our best each day to only see the plus’s in our life…like all the extra days and weeks that we’ve been given together (the doctors here didn’t expect Joey to make it to Thanksgiving, and here we are near the end of January), and all the beautiful conversations and time we’ve had with her family.
‘And the amazing gift of life-slowing-down-to-a-crawl and only having and needing THIS moment in time. And of course, the incredible amount of love and support that the whole world has shown for us during this special time.
‘And every morning, when our little one wakes and I pick her up from her crib and take her in to see her mama – and her sleepy little almond eyes look into ours, once more we see…the amazing power of the plus-sign.
‘Joey+Rory = Indy.’
Big day: On Monday, Joey and Rory (above in 2013) are also nominated for their first Grammy Award for their song If I Needed You
Touching: The terminally-ill country shared a photo showing her new necklace (above) which has the names of her daughter and step-daughters
Special day: Indiana, who has Down’s syndrome, will turn two on Wednesday (above in early 2015)
Joey, 40, shared how she first fell in love with Rory in an interview with People last week, saying; ‘Rory was singing ‘In the Round’ at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville with three other songwriters.
‘I was just one of dozens of people in the audience that night. From the first song Rory sang, I fell head over heels for him.’
She then added: ‘I didn’t even know him, but something inside me said, “You’re going to marry that man and spend the rest of your lives together.”‘
Rory, 49, recently revealed that he and Joey would be releasing a new album next month comprised of a collection of hymns.
That album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, will be available on February 12, three days before the couple compete for a Grammy in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category with their song If I Needed You.
Joey had appeared to be defying the odds after being given six months to live last October, making remarkable progress over the past few weeks despite being told she would be bedridden for the remainder of her life in late November.
She got out of bed in December and then began to walk again, all things that seemed impossible just weeks before.
She even got to spend Christmas with her family near her childhood home in Alexandria, Indiana.
Joey’s good luck took a turn however this past weekend, with Rory revealing that her condition had gotten worse.
‘And now, here I sit beside my dying wife,’ Rory wrote on his blog. ‘She said she told him that if He’s ready to take her… she’s ready to come home.’
He then added: ‘Her pain and discomfort has continued to increase daily and so has the morphine to help her be comfortable.
‘The dosage she’s needed to keep the pain away has quadrupled in the last four days. I’d like to tell you that she’s doing great and is going to beat this thing. But I can’t.’
Just two weeks earlier the pair had celebrated Christmas together, with Joey getting a chance to see her family and friends and open gifts with Indiana and her step-daughters.