February 17 was a bittersweet day for Rory Feek. It was the day that his youngest daughter, Indy, celebrated her third birthday. It was also her first birthday without her mama there to celebrate with her.
Toward the end of her cancer battle, Joey set a few goals that she wanted to reach before she passed away. One of those goals was to live to see Indy’s second birthday. While many doubted that Joey would be able to make it, she remained determined to do so…and she did.
In a blog post titled A Week to Remember, Rory wrote that Joey “barely slept” the night before Indy’s second birthday. They moved Indy’s high chair into the room where Joey was staying, that way she could be part of the birthday celebration as well.
Joey passed away on March 4, just a little over two weeks after Indy’s birthday.
Although Joey wasn’t there to celebrate Indy’s birthday with her this year, the little girl was surrounded by a bunch of family and friends. Just like the year before, little Indy received more presents than anyone could even begin to count.
Rory described the scene at Indy’s third birthday party in a new blog post titled Ain’t My Baby Grand, writing about the joy that filled the house that day:
“Indy had more presents to open than any three-year-old could ever imagine. They came from all over – gifts in the mail from strangers – and packages left at the front gate or at Marcy Jo’s. All for a little girl that none of them know, but feel like she’s a part of their family…After hamburgers and hotdogs, we came inside and made wishes and blew out candles…“
Rory also wrote a new piano he bought for his family to play. It turns out that Rory’s decision to buy the piano has an incredible story attached to it, one that ties back to the original owners of the Feek farmhouse.
After Joey’s death, Rory revealed that “there hasn’t been any new music in the house for a long time.” He is hopeful that the piano will help fill the house with music once again. He is also hopeful that the piano will help Indy grow up to love music as much as her mama and papa one day.
While there was much joy to be found in Indy’s birthday celebration, Rory admits there was a bit of sadness too. “Indiana’s birthday was wonderful, but we were all also a little sad…missing Joey,” he wrote. “Wishing she could be here with us. But like always, in our hearts we felt like she was. That she was celebrating and singing along and dancing with all of us.”
We have no doubt that Joey was smiling down on Rory and their baby girl on that special day.