Joey + Rory Announce ‘Hymns That Are Important to Us’ Album
In a new blog post, Joey + Rory‘s Rory Feek reveals that the gospel album he and Joey Feek were working on before her terminal cancer diagnosis has a release date and will benefit a charity close to Joey Feek’s heart.
Hymns That Are Important to Us, which Joey + Rory first announced back in August, will be released on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) 2016. Rory Feek writes that the project is “the one [Joey]’s always wanted to make — filled with the hymns she grew up with.” Rory Feek and daughter Heidi Feek have added harmonies to the songs.
“We recorded it in a studio in Nashville early in the summer — just after recovering from her first big surgery in Chicago. And then she did her vocals where she could … in hotel rooms, our house, wherever and whenever she felt up to singing,” Rory Feek explains. “In early October, we even did a TV taping of the songs in the concert hall at our farm in front of a live audience. Joey was weak, and it was difficult for her, but she was determined. This record means so much to her. It is the songs that are the most important to her.”
Proceeds from Hymns That Are Important to Us will go to the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation, in honor of the Feeks’ daughter Indiana‘s best friend Scout, who has Loeys-Dietz syndrome. The disease is, as Rory Feek explains, “a connective-tissue disorder that affects her heart and a thousand other things.”
“I think Joey wants to capture the words and music of her childhood. The music that she goes to when she needs comfort. The music that makes this beautiful, tragic, crazy life somehow make sense,” Rory Feek continues of the album. “I think she wants to capture this music so we can take it home with us. All of us. And have it forever.”
Pre-order information for Hymns That Are Important to Us is not yet available.
In the same blog post, Rory Feek also shares a heart-wrenching moment between his wife and him. They are still in Joey Feek’s hometown in Indiana, where the first snow has already arrived.
“When I saw the flakes start falling two days ago, I got really excited. But nowhere near as excited as Joey …,” Rory Feek writes. “I was sitting next to her bed — holding her in my arms, when she happened to look up and see the white coming down through her window. You would’ve thought the heavens had parted and Jesus had come back, by the light in her eyes. It was like God was sending light into the darkness she was feeling …”
Just before the snowfall, Rory Feek had received a photo from Scout’s father, along with a message: “Scout can’t wait until Indiana joins her at camp.”
“I read the caption out loud and Joey said, ‘Let me see.’ And she took my phone and stared at the photo — so proud of Scout. Then suddenly her hands started shaking, and she closed her eyes and started sobbing,” Rory Feek remembers. “I wasn’t sure what had happened — what the pain was that she was feeling — so I tried to put my arms around her and asked, ‘What’s wrong?” and then through her tears, she said the words … the ones I knew she felt, but she had never said before … the words that are the hardest, most-difficult part of all that she, and we, are going through: ‘I want to raise our baby,’ she cried, and her tears fell harder … ‘I want to be the one to teach her.’
“She was inconsolable. I held her in my arms as she held Scout’s picture to her heart and cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do,” Feek continues. “And then, just like that — over my shoulder, through the window she saw it … Snow. It was snowing. Huge white flakes were falling from above. And a small smile came across her face. Then a bigger one.
“’I didn’t think I’d get to see snow again,'” Rory Feek recalls his wife saying. “And she looked at me, then raised her eyes up at sky and said, ‘If this is the last snow I ever see, thank you Jesus … thank you.’
“Like manna from Heaven. God sent us just what we needed … just when we needed it. He always does,” Rory Feek concludes. “There will be other snows that will come. Some might be bigger and last longer. But none will mean more than this one.”
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