Rory Feek took time on Easter Sunday to remember his late wife, Joey, on what was her favorite holiday, and revealed the precious gift his wife gave him as her life ebbed away.
In a post titled "Less is More" on his blog, the country singer writes that Easter was always Joey's favorite holiday.
"I can’t help but think of my bride today," he reveals. "To remember all the Easters we’ve spent together over the years and what this morning would be like if she were still here with us. What it would mean to her to share Easter this year with our two-year-old. It would be so, so special."
Joey, who formed one half of the Grammy-nominated country duo Joey+Rory with Feek, died on March 4 at the age of 40 after a long battle with cervical cancer, leaving behind her husband and their daughter, Indiana.
"Indy has not asked for her mama," Feek writes. "Not one single time since Joey’s been gone. It’s almost as if she hasn’t noticed that she’s not here. And that is so sad … and oh, so wonderful – all at the same time."
Feek explains that when Joey stopped chemotherapy treatments in October and entered hospice care at her childhood home in Indiana, "Joey was Indy's whole world." But as Joey realized that she wasn't going to beat her battle with cancer, she made a decision to detach herself from Indy so that the little girl's bond with her daddy would grow.
"And she started going against everything in her being that told her 'time was short' so hold her baby even tighter… and longer… and more… and instead — she handed the baby to me, and sat alone in a bed and watched and listened as my relationship with Indy grew…and hers lessened," Feek writes.
"Who has that kind of strength and character?" he continues. "I would’ve tried to make the ties with our baby stronger and her love for me deeper so that she wouldn’t forget me… and in the end, probably left our baby wrecked with grief over the loss of the one person she loved and needed most. But not Joey. She let Indy fall more in love with me…and less in love with her. She carried the pain on her own shoulders, to try to keep it off of mine. And even more so, off of Indy’s."
There were still plenty of times in her final months where Indy sat in her mama's lap and they spent time together, Feek says, "But it was never the same. Indiana loved her mama… but she wanted me. She needed me. Thank you Joey."
Feek says that their daughter doesn't quite understand what happened to her mama, but they visit her grave on their farm in Tennessee every day.
"We make the walk or ride into the backfield, to the spot where Joey rests and we sit down beside her temporary wooden cross," Feek writes. "I talk with my bride about what has happened that day, and what I’m worried or excited about… and I share the latest thing that Indiana is doing."
As Indy plays in the grass beside the fading flowers on her mama's grave, Feek writes that "for a little bit, we're family again. Indy is on Joey's lap and the world is right."
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!