Four years ago, on March 4, 2016, Rory Feek's wife, Joey Feek, passed away after a brave battle with cervical cancer, leaving Feek alone to raise their daughter, Indiana, who is now 6 years old. Although Feek still misses his wife every day, he is grateful for his little girl, who helps keep her memory alive.
"She’s highly aware of her mama, her mama’s voice, what her mama looks like," Feek told PEOPLE. "She keeps her alive, just like I do."
Feek recalled one particular moment, when Indiana, who had just turned 2 when Joey passed away, heard a Joey + Rory song on the radio, before even her father did.
"Indiana goes, 'It's Mama,'" Feek recounted. "Indiana starts singing the song, and I thought, ‘No.’ I couldn’t really hear it. All of us got really quiet, and it took a lot of work for me to realize that’s Joey. One of our songs was playing on the radio."
Feek is resolved to continue moving forward without Joey, although he is learning to find a balance between honoring her memory and finding joy in spite of her absence.
"Life has a way of being okay," Feek noted. "Life keeps going. The world keeps turning. It doesn’t mean that you don’t miss that person like crazy and that there isn’t a big void inside of you. But that also doesn't mean that there can't be a lot of joy and happiness and you can’t wake up every day pinching yourself, which is what I feel like I do. And I don’t think I would have known that exactly four years ago."
Feek might be moving forward without Joey, but he doesn't imagine himself ever getting married again, at least not yet.
"I still feel like I’m 100 percent married and in a full, regular marriage," Feek told the outlet. "The only difference is that she’s just not around, but it’s a funny thing to feel so complete and not have her here. She was such an amazing gift and filled my life so much that she continues to fill it."
Still, the 54-year-old acknowledges that he would be open to the possibility of being in another relationship, if he felt God leading him in that direction.
"I’m open to anything God wants to have happen," said Feek, who still wears his wedding ring. "Absolutely. Do I see it on the horizon? No, but I want what He wants."
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Kempin