Joey Feek has posted a heartbreaking photograph with her daughter to mark what she expects to be her last Valentine’s Day.
Clutching little Indiana in her arms, the terminally ill country singer smiled as she received a celebratory kiss from her soon to be two year old.
Clad in pink, they looked the picture of serenity. The photo was captioned: ‘Happy Valentine’s Day mama’.
Later on Sunday, her husband Rory delivered a romantic supper on a tray that the couple shared together and posted a photo on Facebook showing what’s likely to be their last Valentine’s Day kiss.
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Clutching little Indiana in her arms, Joey Feek smiled as she received a celebratory kiss from her soon to be two-year-old girl. The terminally ill singer has defied doctors’ expectations in her battle against cervical cancer
Poignant: Rory posted this touching photo of his and Joey’s romantic supper and what’s likely to be their last Valentine’s Day kiss. Joey wears a rose corsage on her wrist while her husband has one pinned to his dungarees
It comes just a day after her devastated husband, fellow singer Rory Feek, spoke out about the pain of recognizing this will likely be the last Valentine’s Day they spend together, though Joey has continued to defy the odds in her battle against stage IV cervical cancer.
In a heartbreaking post on his website This Life I Live, Rory revealed to fans that four major events are all happening this week: Indiana’s birthday, the Grammy awards, the release of the couple’s joint album and Valentine’s Day.
And while Rory acknowledged how blessed he feels, he also admitted to some of the heartbreak that things will never again be like they were, starting with February 14 on Sunday.
Rory, 49, revealed that his dream would be to enjoy a candle-lit dinner of grilled rib-eyes and some red wine with his wife back at their Tennessee farmhouse like they have done so many times in the past.
In its place Rory is now ‘hoping for a few soft kisses’.
Rory is also working hard to make this an amazing Valentine’s Day for his wife, without the wine and the grill and the farmhouse.
‘Neither Joey, nor I, have laid eyes on our farmhouse back in Tennessee since the middle of October. On top of that, Joey’s illness hasn’t allowed her to be able to eat much of anything for some time now and she sleeps most of the days and nights away,’ said Rory.
‘So my hope this year instead is to hold her hand and take her on a “virtual” walk down memory lane together… with pictures and videos on my laptop.
‘I want to take her back to where our lives first began together, and relive this beautiful journey that God has taken us on… from that first song she heard me sing at the Bluebird cafe, to the last one we sang together as we stood on stage and took our final bow… to the songs that she will leave behind here on earth and the ones she will soon sing for eternity to our sweet Lord in that heavenly choir up yonder.’
And, of course, Rory is still hoping he in exchange will get those ‘few soft kisses’ from Joey.
‘I live for those kisses. They are enough,’ he said.
Valentine’s Day is actually the second big event of Joey and Rory’s big week however, with the first being the release of their new album.
Blessed: Rory Feek detailed the big week ahead for him and his terminally-ill wife Joey (above last year) who continues her brave battle with stage IV cervical cancer
Growing up: On Wednesday, the couple’s daughter Indiana (above on Thursday) celebrates her second birthday, the milestone Joey has been fighting to live long enough to see
Details: ‘Our plan is to put streamers up around Joey’s bed and move Indiana’s high-chair in beside her, so Joey can be part of it,’ said Rory
Joey + Rory Hymns That Are Important to Us is now on sale, and soon there will be a concert special that the couple taped last year despite Joey’s sickness.
‘Joey was so exhausted, she barely made it through the evening. I actually don’t know how she did,’ said Rory.
‘But to watch, other than her already being thin and tired… you wouldn’t hardly know it. She was in all her glory on that stage singing those songs, and it shows.’
They taped the commentary for the concert DVD special in early October, and the next day learned that Joey’s cancer was terminal.
Now, Rory wants to make this concert part of their special day on Sunday.
‘My wife is so beautiful on the stage, in the spotlight. So full of life and love. I started to watch it last night, but decided to wait,’ he said.
‘I’m going to watch it with Joey… on Valentines day date night.’
In stores now: Rory and Joey’s new album, Joey + Rory Hymns: That Are Important to Us, was released on Friday
Difficult: On Sunday, the two will celebrate Valentine’s Day, but not with rib-eyes and red wine like they used to in the past according to Rory
Then on Monday comes the Grammy Awards, where the two are nominated in the Best Country Duo/ Group Performance category for their song If I Needed You.
Rory said that he and Joey will spend the night watching the ceremony in Indiana, despite Joey’s wishes that he head out to Los Angeles for the big night.
In their place at the ceremony will be their manager Aaron Carnahan Rory’s daughters Heidi and Hopie.
‘Joey tried to talk me into going with them… many, many times. She even had a Southwest ticket purchased for me that I cancelled,’ said Rory.
‘I can’t leave her. I won’t. I have done many foolish things and made lots of mistakes in my life, but this isn’t going to be one of them.’
He then spoke about what might happen if they win the Grammy, saying; ‘The girls have asked me to write something for them to read… just in case. I told them not to worry about it, but they insist.
‘I can’t imagine our names being called. But then again, Joey and I also couldn’t have imagined us being where we are at all… the good parts or the bad.
‘So I will write something. And when she’s awake, I will run what I’ve written by Joey like I do all these blog posts. And she will say “it’s beautiful honey”, and then gently point out the words I’ve misspelled and let me know if I’ve left off something important, or am coming across sounding arrogant or insincere.
‘She’s so smart and good.
‘I might have the words that bring characters to life. But my wife has the character that brings my words to life.’
Big girl: Joey was diagnosed with cancer just a few months after welcoming Indiana into the world, who was born with Down’s syndrome
Touching: Joey keeps her three daughters, Heidi, Hopie and Indiana, close to her heart with special necklaces (above)
Then, on Wednesday, comes the one milestone Joey has been fighting the hardest to reach, ever since she was given just six months to live last October – her daughter Indiana’s second birthday.
‘Our plan is to put streamers up around Joey’s bed and move Indiana’s high-chair in beside her, so Joey can be part of it. So she can watch our little-one eat her cupcake and rip the wrapping paper off her gifts,’ said Rory of the big day.
‘But Joey is very fragile right now, and so with all of these plans we have, we will need to adjust for what my wife needs.’
Joey had appeared to be defying the odds after being given six months to live last October, making remarkable progress 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.
Then, at the beginning of the year, things began to take a turn for the worse.
Joey, 40, was diagnosed with cancer in June 2014, just a few months after she and Rory welcomed Indiana, who was born with Down’s syndrome.
The cancer eventually spread and in October doctors revealed there nothing they could do for Joey.
Back in the day: Joey was as a restaurant owner when she met Rory, falling in love with him as he performed during a songwriter’s night (wedding photo above in June 2002)
LA bound: Rory’s children Heidi and Hope (above with Joey last year) will attend the Grammys on behalf of the couple
Joey was a restaurant owner when she met Rory, falling in love with him as he performed during a songwriter’s night.
He was also a single father with two daughters, another reason Joey has said she was first attracted to him.
On June 15, 2002, the couple was married in a small ceremony.
Joey shared how she first fell in love with Rory in an interview with People earlier this year, 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.”‘
And while Rory was a noted songwriter who had penned hits for artists such as Blake Shelton, the couple got their big break in 2008 when they appeared on the reality show Can You Duet which aired on Country Music Television.
They finished in third place on the show and signed a record contract soon after – and have been making music ever since right up until the release of their new album on Friday.
‘Our music has taken us many incredible places and let us experience some amazing things in the past eight years and people we meet have often asked if we had a plan to get to where we are. I’ve always answered, “yes, there’s a master plan… it’s just not ours,'” Rory wrote in his most recent post.
‘And so now, with the big week we have coming up, we have a little plan. But ultimately, how the plan plays out is up to God.’