In a new post to his blog, This Life I Live, Rory shares that he spent Wednesday (June 15) with his daughter Hopie, retracing the steps that led him to meeting Joey, who came to a songwriter’s night at a small cafe in the tiny town of Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. That’s where the couple first met, it’s where they had their wedding reception, and it’s where he returned to remember Joey on their anniversary Wednesday.
He recalls that he was never much good at giving gifts, but it didn’t matter, because Joey wasn’t particularly interested in getting gifts. But this year he is trying to give her a gift that will be a fitting tribute to her life, as well as the courageous manner in which she faced her death.
“Joey and I have a friend named Ben that runs Provident Films here in Nashville and like many others, he has been following our story and hurting and praying for us for the last year or so,” he writes. “When I shared some of the hundreds-of-hours of footage with Ben that I had been putting together the last couple months, he and his team offered to help turn that footage in to something greater than just a few small videos on the blog that I write. To turn it into a film.”
The full-length documentary draws on the vast footage Rory shot of their life together, beginning just before the birth of their daughter, Indiana, in February of 2014 and running through last spring, after the couple received the news that there was nothing more doctors could do. “A film about our lives during that two-and-a-half years. Our love. Our struggles. And even more so, about our faith in God and our hope in a plan… bigger than the one we can see with our own eyes.”
Titled To Joey, With Love, the film captures the incredible emotional ups and downs they experienced during her struggle. Rory says the trailer hit him hard.
“I have not cried beside Joey’s grave. I have talked and prayed and sat still beside her cross for hours, but not really cried. Not until yesterday when I shared this trailer with her, or at least tried to. For our anniversary. And I wept like a baby,” he reveals, adding that it impacted Joey’s family just as deeply.
“Most people know Joey and I for the five months we spent in Indiana — the beautiful, terrible days and weeks last fall and winter that we intimately shared through my blog posts. They got to see Joey die. To see her face death bravely and pass to the other side with honor,” he observes. “But I’d like for people to have the chance to see my wife live. To see the incredible woman that she was before the doctors said there was nothing more they could do… so they can better understand the amazing impact she’s had on me and everyone around her after she learned that the end was coming.”
To Joey, With Love is set to air in theaters all across the country for one special night on Sept. 20, just days after Joey would have celebrated her birthday. Rory says “my wife will get the chance to live again. On a movie screen, her heart will start beating and her story will come to life once more and it will be my gift to her. And to our girls. And to our friends and family and all who loved her … And maybe, just maybe…someone might find some encouragement in it.”
For more information about To Joey, With Love, visit the film’s official website.
Photo Source: YouTube Screen Capture