Joey and Rory were a much-loved couple, but sadly, Joey lost her battle to cervical cancer leaving her husband and their then-two-year-old daughter behind.
Indiana, the couple’s child, was born several months before her mother’s cancer diagnosis. Following her passing, it was Rory who took all the care for the sweet girl who was born with Down Syndrome.
No matter how much it hurt, Rory knew he had to remain strong for his little girl. Sweet Indy is 8 today, and her father says she’s the best thing that has ever happened to him.
In one of his blogs he titled “Crib Notes,” Rory speaks of Indy and says, “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
He wants people to know that being a girl with Down Syndrome doesn’t make Indy less loved, or a mistake, as some people would call her. No child can ever be a mistake, regardless of how they look. And Indy is a real beauty.
Rory goes on writing how his daughter’s life is as meaningful as that of any other child out there. She has her likes, dislikes, and dreams.
Today, she loves what her father does and she even accompanies him on stage.
Recently, the two sang Daddy What If together and the video of the father-duo performance melted millions of hearts.
“It didn’t take me but a moment to think of which song it should be – one that I’ve known and loved for years. Actually for decades,” the county singer wrote on his blog.
Rory helped Indy with the lyrics by typing them out and then drawing pictures next to the parts Indy would sing. He also changed the lyrics from “Daddy” to “Papa” because that’s what Indy calls him.
Indy spent a lot of time practicing.
“She was so proud of herself and so happy that she could sing a real song with her Papa.
“By Christmas time, she was joining me on stage to sing it in front of the room full of folks who’d traveled from all across the country to be with us… and oh, what a special moment it was for her, for me, and for the surprised people in the concert hall,” he wrote.
Following an onstage performance, Rory got thinking to himself it would be great if he and Indy record the song in a studio.
“I am thinking of my own father this morning and of Joey’s father Jack. And of my older girls Heidi and Hopie and the gift God gave me to be their father and Indiana’s. And of course, I’m thinking of Joey and how she would so love this moment. To hear our little one sing with her Papa, and see what a beautiful young lady she’s becoming. And to know that the music that was inside her, is also inside her little girl,” Rory wrote when he released the video of the song on Father’s Day.
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