ALEXANDRIA, Ind. – A terminally ill country singer is performing an act of love for her family in her final days.
Rory Feek says his wife, Joey, has planted seeds for the spring. He says she likely won’t live to see them bloom. She hopes the vegetables that grow from those seeds will feed her family when she is no longer with them.
He said last week, she asked for some potting soil and planted seeds for broccoli, beefsteak tomatoes, red bell peppers, jalapenos, and several other vegetables. She plants a garden every spring, Rory says.
“She does it because it’s important to her,” wrote Rory. “Planting a garden and raising food that she can feed her family is a part of who Joey is. That doesn’t stop just because you have cancer or are stuck in a bed for months-on-end.”
He said these simple things inspired their song “Important to Me.”
Joey’s hope is that the plants make it back home to Tennessee with Rory and their nearly two-year-old daughter, Indiana, after she passes away. They are currently living out Joey’s final days at her childhood home in Alexandria, Indiana.
“I often sit beside her as she talks to me about the garden and tries to teach me the things I will need to know,” wrote Rory. “Like how to tell when the watermelon are ripe and how many weeks apart to stagger planting the sweet corn.”
He said he listens to what she says, but he doesn’t really want to know how to take care of the plants.
“I just want her to be able to be in the garden – this year and twenty more after it. I want her to be able to weed and water and hoe and harvest, and to be able to can and freeze the fruit of her labor and feel the pride that she’s felt in the past at knowing that ‘these sweet potatoes and beans and tomatoes are from our land’ …from her hands,” wrote Rory.
He said in time he’ll surely grow to love it, “[b]ecause she loved it. And part of her will be with us… in every seed we plant, and every vegetable we harvest … and every bite we take.”
Rory says he’s not ready to think about the spring.
“It’s hard for me to believe that there will be life after this cold, hard winter… and I think Joey knows that,” wrote Rory. “So thin and gaunt, and more frail than ever, my wife is sowing her seeds – putting down roots in the soil of our lives and hearts. Getting us ready for something that we can’t see right now for the tears in our eyes… something she might not even get to see at all. Spring.”
Together, the couple forms the musical duo Joey + Rory. Their album “Hymns That Are Important to Us” is set for release on Feb. 12.