During Sunday's (March 13) public memorial service for Joey Feek, the Joey + Rory singer's husband and duet partner, Rory Feek was among those who took the stage to offer remembrances. In his eight-minute speech, Rory Feek recalled his wife's incredible ability to and capacity for love.

"I'm here to tell you that it's possible to experience the kind of love you see in movies. All you have to do is give that kind of love first ... I'm not talking about myself," Feek said, quoting Corinthians and explaining that "when [Joey] came into my life, I saw what love really looks like."

He continued, "Joey just didn't learn the secret recipe for love; she sought it out. Not in others or self-help books or marriage conferences, but in our Lord -- in his example and his words ... and when he told her how to do it, like He loves us, she did her best to do it to the end of the line.

"If you take nothing else from this life that she's lived, take that: love," Feek added. "... If you want to feel that kind of love, you have to give it first."

Feek also noted, as he has in the past, that it was his wife who encouraged him to begin blogging when, about two years ago, he "felt the need to document the coming months and remember them.

"I had no idea why," Feek recalled. "I know now."

"Joey and I believed that God would give us a great story. Not just a great story to tell, but a great story to live, and he has ...," Feek said. "A great story is not just a happy story filled with only joy. That's not a story, not really. You must have low points to understand and appreciate the high points that you get to experience in life."

Even just before her death, Joey Feek knew that she and her husband had been given that great story. Rory Feek recalled that, when he once told his wife that he wished it was him suffering and not her, she told him, "But if it was you, there would be no one here to write about it, so I will live it, and you will share it." And when Feek asked his wife if she ever worried about her family's life after her death, "Again, she just tenderly smiled and said, 'No, honey. God has given us a great story. And I have every reason to believe that he will continue doing the same.'

"That is what you call faith and a trust in something bigger than yourself," Feek noted.

Near the end of his remarks, Feek asked for his wife's high school varsity letter jacket and put it on over his overalls.

"I would like to thank this little town of Alexandria, Ind. Joey's town. The place where her family settled generations ago ... It's the place where she took her first breath and, 40 years later, where she took her last," Feek said. "Thank you for loving her, for loving me."

He concluded by thanking family friends Bill and Gloria Gaither, Joey Feek's parents and siblings and all of those who followed her battle with cancer.

"Joey felt your love, and, here in this moment, we feel it now," Rory Feek said. "We will take it with us and walk on.

"... Lastly, I want to thank my beautiful bride, Joey, for choosing me and giving me the greatest gift that I've ever had: her love," Feek ended. "She may have played basketball and volleyball in this gym, and I may be wearing her jacket, but what she lettered in was love."

He received a standing ovation as he walked offstage. Press play on the video above to watch the entire speech.

Joey Feek was laid to rest during a private funeral on the Feeks' property in Tennessee on Tuesday (March 8). In a recent blog post, Rory Feek shared photos from the event.

“… It was an afternoon filled with so much joy and love. Even our little Indiana had a wonderful time …,” Feek writes. “And when most of the guests had gone and the sun was starting to fade, Indy and I took the short walk together into the back field to see her mama one more time. And we stayed awhile and talked with her.

“And then we took a deep breath and did what Joey would want us to do,” he adds. “We remembered that she’s still with us. She’ll always be with us. In our hearts. Forever.”

In lieu of flowers, those looking for a way to express their condolences may send donations to the following address:

Joey and Indy
P.O. Box 5471
Vancouver, WA 98668

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