Joey + Rory forever. Country singer Rory Feek celebrated his first wedding anniversary without his late wife, Joey Feek, by his side. To honor their 14th wedding anniversary, Rory penned an emotional new blog post and released the trailer for his upcoming, full-length documentary about his wife entitled, To Joey, With Love.
The grieving dad of three, who shares a young daughter named Indiana with Joey, explained why he decided to create a documentary. The singer-songwriter first wrote that he struggled to give the best gifts to his wife throughout their 14-year marriage.
“I have had lots of time these last few months to think about what anniversary gift I wanted to give to my wife this year – what act of service I could do, that would matter to her – if she were here,” he wrote. “So with the help of some friends, I am going to try to give her a gift that is pretty much impossible… To live on, even after she’s gone.”
The couple married on June 15, 2002. On the date of their anniversary this year, Rory revisited their wedding location with one of his daughters, Hopie. “Fourteen years ago, Joey and I said our vows in the little town of Mt Pleasant,” he reminisced. “A half-hour or so from the farmhouse we live in. We had our wedding reception in the same place where Joey and I first met. At the top of some stairs that Joey had bounded up in September of 2001 and landed right in front of me. And with just a smile and a ‘hi, I’m Joey’… she proceeded to change my and everyone’s life around me forever … We talked about the spot by the window where our wedding cake had been. And where the bridal party sat. And the spot where Joey and I had our first dance.”
This week, 51-year-old Rory said he imagined his wife was right beside him on the date of their anniversary. “I carried a thermos and our two favorite mugs across the back field and shared a cup of coffee with my bride,” he shared, “as the sun came up over the wooden cross with her name on it.”
Joey succumbed to cancer at the age of 40 this past March 4, 2016. “I have not cried beside Joey’s grave. I have talked and prayed and sat still beside her cross for hours, but not really cried,” her husband wrote Thursday. “Not until yesterday when I shared this trailer with her, or at least tried to. For our anniversary. And I wept like a baby… I pulled out my iPhone and pushed play… and we watched a movie trailer together as my tears fell.”
Back in February 2014 — a few weeks prior to the birth of their baby girl, Indiana — Rory started filming his wife and their family. After Joey’s death, he found solace in the clips and went on to share “some of the hundreds-of-hours of footage” with a friend who runs a film production company. That pal decided to turn the footage into something special, a gift for Joey that would become a full-length documentary film.
“[It’s] a film about our lives during that two-and-a-half years,” Rory wrote. “Our love. Our struggles. And even more so, about our faith in God and our hope in a plan… bigger than the one we can see with our own eyes.”
The date of the documentary has special meaning. “Joey didn’t live to see her 41st birthday, but this September, just a week or so after her birthday on the 9th… my wife will get the chance to live again,” he wrote. “On a movie screen, her heart will start beating and her story will come to life once more and it will be my gift to her. And to our girls. And to our friends and family and all who loved her.”
The documentary will be released for one day on September 20, 2016. For more on the film and their love story, visit To Joey, With Love.