The country singer, 51, took to his blog, This Life I Live, to reflect on his time as a single parent, as well as to pay tribute to Joey’s incredible role as a mom to their daughter, 2-year-old Indiana.
“For more than ten years I was a single father of two young daughters … Heidi and Hopie,” he wrote. “I can’t tell you I was a great father. I tried. I think I was a good father, but the truth is I was still a young man struggling to find myself, while the girls were growing and finding out who they were.”
“I made so many mistakes and was so selfish. At times I was more concerned about being a great songwriter than being a great father,” he continued. “In a lot of ways, I think the girls raised me while I was raising them. But they were so forgiving and loved me unconditionally. They still do.”
Rory added that his two grown daughters from a previous marriage, who are now 29 and 27, have grown up to be “beautiful, loving, intelligent women,” and that now, he’s trying to be more “present” in their lives.
The musician then explained that when he and Joey met and fell in love, they hoped to be parents; their prayers were answered with the birth of Indiana in 2014, and Rory wrote that he felt he had been “given a second chance at being a father.”
When Joey was diagnosed with terminal cancer last fall, Rory wrote, they were both “angry and disappointed” by the news.
Joey died at the age of 40 in March, leaving Rory a single parent once again.
“Though my beautiful wife sleeps in a bed of clover behind our farmhouse, we still celebrate her on this special day and lift her up and give her flowers,” Rory wrote. “This is not my day. It is hers. Joey loved being a mother more than anything else in the world. And she is still Indy’s mama. And Heidi’s and Hopie’s. … Thank you for the beautiful gift my love.”
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