Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Prayer Vigil for Joey

I met Joey+Rory....through their music.....

I was first introduced to Joey+Rory when my Mom gave me one of their CD's for Christmas in 2013.  I loved it!  I listened to it over and over again.  When I was out driving in our little blue Jazz, it was the CD that I regularly played and the harmonies that Joey+Rory sing are beautiful.  All of their songs are gorgeous and some lyrics are a bit more thought provoking but good on them.  As I listen to the message of the songs lately, both of this CD and our newer addition bought in April 2015, the lyrics must be bittersweet for Joey+Rory but also encouraging and words and melodies which they are probably hanging on to during this season of their lives.
Mom had been to Gaither's Family Fest in May 2013 at Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Dollywood, too
I do not need to retell their story because Joey's husband Rory writes a blog This Life I Live and he tells the story better than anyone.  I did not know a lot about Joey+Rory's story really until more recently as I have felt connected to them in many ways, not the least of which is her battle with cancer.

I knew that Joey married Rory who was a single Dad and has two daughters - Heidi and Hopie; this resonates with me because I, too, married a single Dad who has one daughter.  I read Rory's recent blog post called four rings and a baby and I really liked how Joey gave rings to her step-daughters as a sign of her commitment to them - a beautiful gesture to symbolize how important they are to her.  Relationships are hard work and Joey and her girls have put in the hard yards and have a connection that cannot be taken from them.

I discovered that Joey was not always in the music business and she and her sister-in-law Marcy opened up a restaurant in their local community called Marcy Jo's Mealhouse in Pottsville, Tennessee.  I want to go there the next time I visit the United States - breakfast I reckon but hold the grits and I definitely want one of Joey's famous sticky buns!  Check out 2.42 in this video to get your taste buds going - yum!
Joey+Rory had a beautiful baby Indiana who is affectionately called Indy in Feb 2014 and she is absolutely adorable - she has a smile that lights up the room - like her Mamma Joey.  I suspect the news that Joey+Rory were pregnant was a joyous occasion and it has been such a delight to share in their journey with them because I still remember a time when we thought we had fallen pregnant and we were over the moon but alas, that was not the case.  But back to Joey+Rory.  They have shared their experiences with us, their fans, including an amazing video of the home birth and a wonderful song "If I Needed You."
I continued to enjoy Joey+Rory's music by playing my much loved CD 'Inspired' regularly but it was not until I returned home earlier this year to Canada to visit and provide support to my Mom that I learned that Joey had been fighting her own battle against cancer, just months after Indy was born.  Cancer is such a horrible disease and more and more I am aware of how it affects so many people.  Rory's Mom also had cancer and passed away recently; a different cancer than my Mom's, but nonetheless, still that horrible disease.  Rory shares about how his Mom was a woman of courage and a real inspiration to those around her, even through her illness - another similarity, indeed as this describes my Mom to a "t", too.

After Mom passed away earlier this year in April, my husband Peter and I had the opportunity to visit a dear friend in Prince Edward Island and we were able to enjoy the road trip back to Ontario via the United States and this afforded me the opportunity to visit one of my Mom and Dad's favourite restaurants and shops - the Cracker Barrel, in South Portland, Maine.  It was at this stop that we purchased another of Joey+Rory's CDs 'Country Classics' and we thought it was uncanny how the lyrics to "King Of The Road" was spot on!  You see, Bangor, Maine was our destination the night before.  We have loved this album as much as the first and although country music was not always my most favourite genre of music, I love it more and more every day.

Another bittersweet similarity in Joey's story to ours is that Joey, like my Mom, thought she beat her battle against cancer the first time round, but alas, it came back.  My Mom fought the cancer but opted out of treatment in the end because she, too, chose to live.  We, too, prayed for a miracle for Mom, like we are for Joey and I truly pray that the ending to this story is a bit different.  Do not misunderstand me.  Mom wanted that miracle just as much as we did; I can still remember our conversation in her kitchen when she spoke about her coming to visit Peter and I in Australia and that she would be our chief cook and bottle washer and maybe, just maybe, even have a go at walking Jessie and Jake, our puppies - Kelpie/Cattle crosses.  For reasons that are never clearly understood and probably never meant to be, His will was that her suffering is gone and she has been reunited with our Dad.

But alas, my prayer, albeit a selfish one for Joey+Rory and Indy and Heidi and Hopie and extended family is that God shows off by doing the miraculous so He gets the glory, but in the end on Friday at Noon here 'down under' which is 7 pm CST time zone in the States, I will light a candle and get down on my knees and join in the prayer vigil for Joey, remembering her prayer.....
Pray for a miracle...and even more so, for peace with His decision.
To close off my blog post, check out one of Joey+Rory's beautiful songs....'I See Him' from their 'Inspired' CD.

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