It has been nearly two and a half years since country singer-songwriter Rory Feek lost his wife and singing partner, Joey, to cancer. Now, as he’s started performing solo, Feek talks with Anthony Mason about singing again without her, his relationship with his daughters, and his life as a widower, in an interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING to be broadcast Sunday, June 17 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.
Feek tells Mason that he feels no different about his wife now than he did when she died in March of 2016.
“I feel just as married and just as in love,” Feek tells Mason. “And I feel like she’s just as much a part of our life as she was.”
Performing solo, however, has taken some adjustment. Together, Joey and Rory were a popular duo. Today, however, he admits he hasn’t quite figured out who he is on stage without her.
“It felt surreal and strange, a little wrong in some ways because I had kinda decided I wouldn’t,” Feek tells Mason. “But, on the other side, it felt strangely similar.”
Without Joey, Feek says he’s had to adjust to being a single father again. Feek had two daughters, Hope and Heidi, from a previous marriage before he met Joey. Together they had a daughter, Indiana.
For instance, just days after Joey died, Feek got a sense his middle daughter, Hope, had something to say.
“I said, ‘just tell me, Hopie,’” Feek recalls. “And she went on to tell me that her friend Wendy was more than her friend, that Wendy and her had been dating for almost a year. And that she was in love.”
Hope tells Mason she was afraid her father would judge her.
“Even more than that,” Feek says, “she’s asking me, ‘Are you still going to love me?’ And my first reaction, honestly, was I don’t think so.”
“You weren’t sure,” Mason asks.
“Because my conservative Christian faith that saved me – the first reaction is that challenges that immensely,” Feek says. “Am I supposed to shun my child now and say, ‘No, you can’t be in my life until you come around to thinking like I’m thinking’?”
Hope says she saw “panic” in her father, but understood his struggle.
“The only thing I try to keep in mind is it’s her life, it’s her choice, it’s her faith and my job is to love her even when it’s hard,” Feek says.
“Do you accept?” Mason asks.
“Yes,” Feek replies.
Feek also talks with Mason about the family farm, life without Joey, how people react to him in the supermarket and more.
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.
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