Joey's husband Rory Feek told fans that Joey was not expected to make it to Christmas, so when she did — and was feeling well enough to enjoy it — that was the greatest gift the family could get.
"In early November, Christmas seemed still so far away. And the prognosis was clear that there was a good chance Joey wasn't going to be with us then and that this Christmas was going to be a difficult one to get through," Rory wrote on his blog, This Life I Live.
He compared the family's hopes for the holiday to the book, The Gruffalo.
"Ours was the belief that it was going to be a wonderful, magical Christmas. We didn't really believe it — down deep inside we knew we knew better — but still we told ourselves and each other that it was going to be great."
"And when we got to the other side, it turned out that our Gruffalo was real too. Christmas had come and Joey was not only here with us, but she was doing well and we all had an amazing day together."
Not only did Joey get to share her daughter Indiana's first Christmas with her, she was able to enjoy family holiday traditions like making Christmas cookies, donning Christmas pajamas and reading stories on Christmas Eve, and opening gifts on Christmas morning. She was even feeling good enough to enjoy Christmas dinner with a big family celebration that evening.
"It truly was an incredible Christmas!" Rory wrote. "Sometimes believing is seeing. And so as the New Year approaches, we will continue to believe and trust that what is waiting on the other side of the deep, dark wood is something even better and more beautiful than our minds can even imagine."
Joey stopped treatments for cervical cancer last fall and entered hospice at home.
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