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Joey and Rory Feek didn't win this year's Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance — as Little Big Town took home that honor for "Girl Crush" — but as the couple tries to make the most of their final days together, they told fans they found the nomination alone to be "more than enough."
That simple three-word phrase accompanied a photo posted to the married couple's Instagram account the day after a sealed Grammy envelope revealed their fate. In that picture, a green-ribboned gold medal is etched with the inscription "Grammy nominee" and an image of the iconic gramophone.
Joey, who has a terminal cancer, chose hospice care over further treatment in October. And while she encouraged Rory to attend the Grammy ceremony, Rory instead opted to spend the long weekend with Joey, whom he married in 2002; and their daughter, Indiana, who has Down syndrome and turns 2 on Wednesday.
Joey's two step-daughters, Heidi and Hopie, from Rory's previous marriage attended Monday's ceremony on behalf of Joey and Rory.
The couple faced stiff competition in their Grammy category. In addition to Little Big Town, Joey and Rory were up against Brothers Osborne's "Stay a Little Longer"; Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay's "The Driver"; and Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe's "Lonely Tonight." The award was announced in a part of the ceremony that was broadcast online, prior to CBS' telecast.
"Joey tried to talk me into going with them… many, many times," Rory wrote Friday on the couple's blog, This Life I Live. "She even had a Southwest ticket purchased for me that I cancelled. I can’t leave her. I won’t. I have done many foolish things and made lots of mistakes in my life, but this isn’t going to be one of them. Instead, I will be sitting beside her and cheering on Little Big Town, and Blake Shelton and Charles and all the talented folks who are nominated in our category and others. It’s an honor for us to just be a part of that night, it truly is."
Indiana's aunts were helping the girl get her hair done in "piggy tail" French braids for "Grammy watching [with] her mama and papa tonight (if it's not past her bedtime)," according to a Monday-afternoon Instagram update.
The married couple was nominated for their Grammy in early December, when Rory documented the good news, despite the gravity of their situation.
"Woke my bride up this morning with a baby in my arms and the news that our version of 'If I Needed You' was nominated for a Grammy," Rory Feek wrote on Facebook at the time. "As her excitement and tears flowed into mine, she said, 'How can that be?' The song received no radio airplay... no press... no critical acclaim... and the only music video we made for it was to celebrate the day our little Indiana was born. God is so good. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Released in 2014 — the same year Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer — the Grammy-nominated song revolves around lyrics of comfort, sacrifice and love: "If I needed you / Would you come to me? / Would you come to me / For to ease my pain? / If you needed me / I would come to you / I would swim the sea / For to ease your pain."
In an exclusive interview with TODAY.com last month, Rory said he didn't know how he'd react if he and his wife won the Grammy for which they'd been nominated.
"I wish I could tell you that," he replied. "I'd love to be here holding Joey's hand, watching the show on TV … and if they called our names as the winner, I want to be able to lean over, look into her eyes and say "congratulations honey" and give her a long, slow kiss. But God only knows where we will be in a month. I can tell you though … win or lose, together or separated by fate … Joey will be be right beside me then, and every moment before and after that day. If not in person, then in my heart. Always."
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