My grandparents, who are now in their mid 70's, raised my siblings and I after CPS removed us from our parents' care in the early 1980's. Thanks to their love, dedication, and sacrifice, I am a functional adult. The values they instilled in me continue to shape my world view, and every resiliency I possess can be traced back to the stability they provided.
Now in my mid-thirties, I attempt to call home at least once a week. For many years, Nora often referenced a show she and Jay regularly watched on RFD-TV. Each time she'd mention Rural America's Most Important Network, I would think of my small town upbringing, and fondly recall memories of growing up in a close-knit community.
On several occasions, she made remarks about a singing duet named Joey & Rory who captured her attention and brightened her world. She often commented on the overall-wearing cowboy and his musically talented bride, and I remember her telling me about the day their down-syndrome daughter was born and the horrible news of her cervical cancer.
I've followed Rory's gut-wrenching blog for the last few months, and although I am not intimately familiar with their music, I found myself teary-eyed and emotional each time I read his heartfelt words. The commitment he felt for Joey reflects the complicated love my grandparents share, and as I watch Nora and Jay enter their twilight years, a deep sense of gratitude surfaces. After suffering a massive stroke last December, Nora graciously cares for my cantankerous grandfather, and thanks to her compassion and tenderness, he's still with us today.
Tonight I read on CNN that Joey went home to be with our heavenly father. I am sure Nora has seen the news and shed a few tears. I would not know this beautiful couples' story were it not for my grandmother's gentle spirit, and as I watch the video below, I feel compelled to tell others about this powerful story of hope, commitment, and loyalty. Sincere condolences go out to the Feek family. The love you've shared has inspired millions, and I tonight I am thankful my grandparents and RFD-TV.