Joey Feek’s Last Request Changes One Man’s Life
It wasn’t so much the song Joey + Rory's Joey Martin Feek asked to have performed at her funeral, as much as who she requested sing it. Don’t feel bad for asking “Who?” when you hear the name Bradley Walker. That may change by fall, however.
Walker isn’t a total newcomer to fans of country and gospel music. He’s performed at the Grand Ole Opry, and has recorded one album. Joey Feek was a fan of his baritone, and before she died she requested he sing a gospel song called "Leave It There" during her service. It was her last request, Rory Feek says, and that performance led to the filming of a television special, a sold out show in Gatlinburg, Tenn. and a second studio album, with the help of Rory and the Gaither family.
This video shows Walker at Joey’s grave site, singing the song with Carl Jackson and Val Storey. Three months ago he performed it during her service, and Bill Gaither took notice of his talents. Since then Rory has helped shepherd his career to new heights. Until now he’s been a part-time singer with a full-time job at a power plant in Alabama. Rory says he suspects his wife knew what she was doing when she made the request.
I could tell you that it’s just coincidence or happenstance, but I’d be lying. I believe these things have come to be for a reason. That Joey somehow knew what was going to happen. Or at the very least, wanted to use her moment of being lifted up, to lift up someone else. I also think that maybe she’s up there somewhere, whispering in God’s ear… ’I know you’re busy Sir … but you might want to hear this one.’
Lyrically the song speaks to Rory, as he admits there are still days where he lifts up his pain and tries to carry it around. The song ended up being all to real for Joey. The couple first heard it together on their honeymoon:
“When your body suffers pain, and your health you can’t regain / When your soul is slowly sinking in despair / Jesus knows the pain you feel / He can save and He can heal / Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.”
Walker himself may relate. He uses a wheelchair as a result of muscular dystrophy, Feek shares at his This Life I Live blog. However, as he prepares for this next stage of his life he feels like the luckiest guy alive.
Joey Feek died on March 4, 2016 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Her journey was beautifully chronicled in Rory Feek’s blog. The couple have one daughter together, 2-year-old Indiana.
What's Next for Rory Feek?
Beautiful Photos of Joey + Rory