1 Year After Joey's Death, Rory Feek Gives His Daughter The Perfect Birthday Present
FaithTap Staff 3/14/2017
A beautiful smile crosses three-year-old Indiana Feek's precious face when she uses the special birthday present her daddy, musician Rory Feek, gave her. At first, Rory wasn't sure just what gift to bestow upon his daughter, but he remembered his wife Joey's request that music be a big part of the little girl's life. That request was made before Joey died last year following her courageous battle against cancer.
To celebrate Indiana's birthday, her mom's parents and sisters drove into town to be a part of the festivities. Indiana's big sisters, cousins and other family members were also there. The family grilled out in the backyard and enjoyed time together, although they all felt Joey's absence.
When it was time to go inside and open presents, Indiana was blessed to receive gifts not just from her family, but from complete strangers, too, Rory wrote in his blog.
"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 ... All for a little girl that none of them know, but feel like she's a part of their family."
But Rory's special gift came with Joey's blessing. She wanted music to be a big part of little Indiana's life, which was only natural, considering her musically gifted parents. But Rory's gift for Indiana also came with a bit of history, he wrote.
"What do you get a child for their birthday who has everything? Everything that is... except a mama. I got her a piano. Joey and I want Indy to grow up loving music and learning to play an instrument. Who knows, maybe someday write her own songs on this piano, or at least have fun trying to learn to play it."
After Rory bought the old farmhouse the family lives in, he researched the family who built the home in the 1870s. That couple, Calvin and Sarah Hardison, had daughters who were school teachers, but were also songwriters who had their music published in the 1890s. Rory wrote in his blog that his neighbor had brought over original sheet music from 1894 that one of those daughters who grew up in their farmhouse had written. The neighbor had it framed as a gift.
So, it only made sense to Rory that a beautiful piano should grace their home--especially since the music had died along with Joey, Rory wrote in his blog. This particular piano was in immaculate shape and built in 1926. Most importantly, it filled a void.
"...with all that's happened in our lives, there hasn't been any new music in the house for a long time, and having a piano sitting in the middle of the living room might encourage there to be some. Our middle daughter Hopie has been already trying to learn to play some songs - and every evening before bedtime, Indy sits beside me and we 'play' together. I play chords down low and Indy pushes on the high keys while I tell her what notes they are. She smiles and giggles. It's precious..."
The night of Indiana's party, Rory's good friend James Slater played the school teacher's sheet music on their new-to-them piano. He also was the pianist for Rory and Joey's wedding, then again for Joey's funeral. It was only fitting that he was there to play Indiana's new-to-her piano on the first birthday after her momma passed away. He played "Ain't My Baby Grand" in honor of Indiana, who danced to the music. It was a beautiful, yet melancholy moment, Rory wrote in his blog.
"Yes, Indiana's birthday was wonderful, but we were all also a little sad. missing Joey. 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."
Rory's special gift for Indiana ties his daughter to her momma who, while she may not grace this earth, has earned her angel wings and is watching over their sweet little girl as she grows up. Hopefully, Indiana will love playing the piano and even write music on it as her daddy envisions. We have no doubt Joey is smiling down from heaven. This gift couldn't be more perfect.
Source: This Life I Live Image Source: Twitter/Photography is Art