Music. How does it affect your life? Does it bring back memories of singing in the car with your siblings? Or maybe it reminds you of concerts your mom would give as you sat on her bed watching her play guitar? Or it can simply just give you joy for no reason at all except for the fact that it makes you think of someone you love.
There is a country group called Joey + Rory. They aren’t as well known as others but they have been one of my favorites. Their songs keep me company when I am in the kitchen. Their lyrics help me create my recipes with pounds of love, cups of happiness and tablespoons of joy.
Joey + Rory have been in the news a lot lately because Joey had been battling cervical cancer. Her husband, Rory, started writing a blog (This Life I Live) about their journey together and the decisions a family has to make when someone is ill.
At first, you may think “What a sad blog to read” or “Why would he want to share such an intimate journey?” Instead, it became such an uplifting part of my weeks. I would read about their friends and family, their odyssey into the music world and most importantly their love story.
Listening to their music and seeing them sing together had already shown me an amazing partnership. The blog Rory wrote just exemplified the simple story of man who loved his wife and the fear of life without her.
I think this has touched me so much given all my years being sick. Although I am far from terminal, I see on my husband’s face the worry that comes with carrying for a sickly spouse. He has lines on his face that weren’t there before and sometimes a sadness in his eyes that I can’t erase. I know he fears something happening to me and worries about so many complications that are out of his control.
He hugs me tighter every year we are together and there are times I wake up to his arms clutched around me so tightly I can’t move. He sometimes just stares at me just to see if I’m alight when I’m sleeping and he calls during the day to make sure I don’t need him.
As the patient in this relationship, I have felt guilt for burdening my husband with a life that isn’t so ordinary. My limitations limit us both and yet those aren’t the things he sees.
He sees me as vibrant and funny. He knows I am brave and fearless. He didn’t chose to love a woman who was ill all the time but on the same note he would not trade me in for a million dollars.
This is the love story I saw with Joey + Rory. She loved him and he just adored her. She fought a battle with dignity and grace and he held her hand and lifted her up.
She died on Friday, March 4, 2016. Joey is at peace while Rory picks up the pieces. Like any couple that loves each other, she will always be in his heart and she will be part of everything he sees when he gets back home to Tennessee.
Tonight I decided to forgo writing a blog with a recipe. I just wanted to write a tribute to a couple that I have never met but who have spent countless hours singing to me as I cook. Our lives are completely different but both have been lucky to have love stories that people see in movies. My movie ending will obviously be different than hers but if I asked Rory if he would go back and change anything….I am sure he would just say “This is the life I live…..”