Country singer Rory Feek lost his wife to cancer in 2016 and it broke his heart but he had to remain strong for his little girl.
Sometimes life teaches us lessons so hard that it transforms us completely. But in doing so it polishes us into diamonds so that the potential in us can shine through and become our strengths. It doesn't mean that those lessons are not painful, but faith can be a salve in those times.
Country singer Rory Feek, 54, of the Joey + Rory duo had the rug pulled out from under him when he lost one half of his band and his life, his wife Joey. She passed away in 2016 due to cancer when his youngest daughter, Indiana, was only two years old. Indiana, better known as Indy, was born with Down Syndrome, which did not make her any less than the other children. His wife, according to the father-of-three daughters, was the planner in the family while he was the dreamer. So, when she passed away he was unsure about how to go forward as a father of a young daughter.
However, Joey had left behind ideas that Feek helped to bring alive. Joey had wanted to homeschool Indy but it proved to be a difficult task for Rory to handle by himself. So he had to alter that plan and sent her to school. Indy was sent to a school called High Hopes, according to his blog.
However, soon he wanted to bring Joey's initial hope for her daughter into being. So he made a one-room schoolhouse on his farm in Tennesse where a dozen or so children come to study along with his daughter. He became the planner and the dreamer for his daughter. One without the other wouldn't have been complete.
"It was a day I could have never imagined when Joey passed away. Though I am a big dreamer and have been blessed to be part of many incredible stories that have unfolded through the years, this was beyond even my wildest dreams. It partly came to be because of Indy and the need to find the best, right choice for school for her, but even more so because of her Mama's passing," he wrote in Today.
He said that after Joey passed away, he received hundreds and thousands of cards and letters from fans and well-wishers. They wanted to express their sympathy and with the letters came bills of $5, $10, $20, change and checks of all sizes. "When we spread their outpouring of love all across the kitchen table, it added up to nearly $100,000. It was beyond humbling," he added.
The money from the cards and letters helped them build the schoolhouse, which cost almost as much as they had received. October 2, 2018 was Indiana's first day at the "Hardison Mill School, named for the one-room schoolhouse that had served the children here in our community a century or more before." It is a three-minute walk from her home to her school and her mother keeps watch nearby. It is "a stone's throw away from the little family cemetery where Joey’s wooden cross stands," said the father.
On July 15, 2019, the first batch of children, including Indy, graduated from their pre-school, Hardison Mill School. "It was a big night for a bunch of little ones, including mine, who were celebrating the end of preschool and the beginning of so much more!" said Feek on his blog.