Joey Feek’s Christmas wasn’t all joy and light, but her neighbor Bill Gaither found a way to put a smile on her face.
In a new blog post, Joey’s husband Rory Feek writes that despite the happy family photos he posted of their Christmas celebration, Rory actually had a tough time dealing with the holidays this year.
“Joey’s heart was heavy and she was feeling some things she hadn’t before… A sadness. A fear of the unknown. And even some anger — not at God, just at her situation I suppose,” he explained. “It’s not easy for her to be as excited about what the new year holds in store as it was last year.”
But one person did everything in his power to make sure Joey’s holiday was a happy one: their famous neighbor.
Gaither, who is a gospel music icon, has a long history with Joey’s family: her parents used to be his and his wife’s students when they were teachers at the local high school. They have known Joey since she was a little girl, and they selflessly gave up much time over the holiday season to cheer her up.
“Bill comes to see Joey just about every day, when he’s not on the road,” Rory explained in his blog post. “We’ll get a knock on the door in the morning or early afternoon, and next thing you know Bill will be parked in a chair beside Joey’s bed, telling her jokes and stories about days long-past [sic] and he’ll have Joey and all of us laughing and smiling ’til our faces hurt.
“I think he just wants to brighten Joey’s day and create as much joy for her as he can.”
But one night, Gaither really went above and beyond.
“A week or so ago, just before Christmas — on the other side of the pond… we noticed a big fire burning by the gazebo,” Rory wrote. “From Joey’s bedroom window, we could see the beautiful flames dancing across the water. It was magical.”
Gaither then called the couple and had one question: “Is she smiling?”
Rory wrote, “That’s the thing about someone burning with passion — the whole world can see their light. They have something that shines so bright inside them, others can’t help but notice it in their eyes and on their faces and in their actions. They use their lives to provide some light in a dark world that can be overwhelming and scary at times. Bill has sure shined his light on us.”
Not only a great neighbor, but a great friend.