Friday, November 18, 2016

To Joey, With Love

Have you heard of the country/bluegrass husband and wife musician duo, Joey and Rory? If you aren't familiar with their story, Joey (the wife) passed away in March of this year after battling cancer.

Rory created a movie which shares their family journey in the form of a uniquely captivating documentary. I saw it twice in theaters because it was just that good and I didn't know if it would be available for viewing after those special showtimes. The good news is that it is now being released on DVD in time for Christmas!

The documentary chronicles their simple life on their charming farm in Tennessee. Rory says he thinks Joey didn't want to be a mother for so long because she was afraid she wouldn't be a good one. But she knew God was asking her to surrender and trust Him... That is when she gets pregnant with their precious baby, Indiana (Indy). They find out shortly after Indy is born that she has Down Syndrome. But Joey says she knows God gave them the exact baby they were meant to have. The beauty of this story leaves me breathless and how their real life and these mundane moments, that actually turned out to be big moments, are authentically captured on camera. Rory says he felt like he was supposed to be filming for some reason, and he believed God would give them a great story to tell. God leads us even when we don't recognize He is. Indy is a spunky, hilarious, precious baby girl... and her life loudly tells the world how all life is valuable and purposeful! Joey is an incredible mother and it brings me to tears to see how she interacts with her little girl. Joey bravely faces cancer and glorifies the Lord she loves so much through her life... and her death. They released an album of favorite hymns while she had cancer. It moved me so much to see her praising Him through her pain and diagnosis and in her frailty. She was literally recording vocals for the CD while in the Cancer Treatment Center.

All I can say is, you simply must see this movie! What a gift for Rory and Indy to have this footage of their beloved wife/mother. This is a story of hope, love, surrender, trust, and beauty in the ashes.

Here is the official trailer for the movie that truly captures the essence of it. These couple minutes of footage is enough to put a lump in your throat.

Their music is beautiful as well. I have a couple of their albums. This song below reminds me so much of my beautiful Lily girl.

When I'm Gone
Joey and Rory

A bright sunrise will contradict the heavy fault that weighs you down
In spite of all the funeral songs the birds will make their joyful sounds
You wonder why the Earth still moves, you wonder how you'll carry on
But you'll be okay on that first day when I'm gone

Dusk will comes with fireflies and whippoorwill and crickets call
And every star will take its place and silvery gown and purple shawl
You'll lie down in our big bed, dread the dark and dread the dawn
But you'll be alright on that first night when I'm gone

You will reach for me in vain
You'll be whispering my name
As if sorrow were your friend
And this world so alien

But life will call with daffodils and morning glorious blue skies
You'll think of me some memory and softly smile to your surprise
And even though you love me still you will know where you belong
Just give it time we'll both be fine when I'm gone

These lyrics remind both my mom and I of Lily... She was born in Spring and we were struck with how the birds still made their joyful sounds, the flowers still bloomed, and life still went on without our Spring girl. We expressed the very same things... how does the Earth still move? How does the wind still blow? But it does, and you do, and the Lord brings you to a place where you are captivated by the beauty of living again, and knowing this is where you belong until He calls you Home... And you smile more than cry when thinking of your lost loved one.

This next song is not by Joey and Rory, but it was in the movie, and it too reminds me of my beautiful girl.

After You're Gone
by Iris DeMent

There'll be laughter even after you're gone
I'll find reasons to face that empty dawn
'Cause I've memorized each line in your face
And not even death can ever erase the story they tell to me

I'll miss you
Oh, how I'll miss you
I'll dream of you
And I'll cry a million tears
But the sorrow will pass
And the one thing that will last
Is the love that you've given to me

There'll be laughter even after you're gone
I'll find reasons and I'll face that empty dawn
'Cause I've memorized each line in your face
And not even death could ever erase the story they tell to me

Visit for more. Also, Rory has a blog about their story and lives now. And there is a book coming out too!


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