The trouble with our heroes is that eventually we are forced to realize that they are in fact human. Just like the rest of us. Sometimes they fall from glory. They retire. Sometimes they get sick. Eventually, they pass away from this world. And we are left bewildered, deflated somehow. How does our world just keep turning when our heroes and legends no longer hold the same place that they always rightfully enjoyed?
In just the past week, we lost two lovely ladies, both of whom I have held in the highest regard.
On March 4, 2016, Joey Feek went home to Jesus. If you don't know who she was, you really missed out, but thankfully her music will live on, and I have a feeling that we will continue to hear from her beautiful family. You see, Joey was half of the country music duo, Joey + Rory. Rory was her husband of many years, and together they have a precious little girl, Indiana, who just turned two. Joey was only 40 years old when she lost her brave battle with cancer. Her husband and music partner, Rory, documented their journey, their life, their family, and their love on his blog: http://thislifeilive.com. He is a wonderful writer, and has been amazingly open with sharing their story through his blog. Check it out. It's a wonderful and uplifting read. And you get to see the real people behind the celebrity. Joey was a wife and mother, a gardener, a horse lover, a cook, and so much more. John and I actually saw them perform in Nashville several years ago at the CMA Music Festival. They were nominated for a Grammy just this year- wonderful and very talented musicians. She left us way too soon.
And then just a couple days later, on March 6, 2016, former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94. It's hard for me to imagine that she was that old. I will forever remember her as her younger self, the First Lady from the 1980s, who launched the "Just Say No" campaign, and tirelessly stood right by her husband, President Ronald Reagan's, side. She was the epitome of grace. She was beautiful and stylish, even as an older lady. She adored her husband. I remember when he passed away, I watched coverage on television of the arrangements. As she was saying her final goodbyes she laid her head on his casket and gave him one final "hug". When I saw this, I just cried. They were a power couple. They loved each other, but it was more than just love. It was adoration. She was his biggest and best supporter. And I was always fascinated by her. The world will miss this lady. When they made her, they broke the mold.
A few days ago, Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL. And what news that was. He has played professionally for 18 years now. He is already a legend, and will most certainly be named to the NFL Hall of Fame. He has won two Super Bowl titles, and has so many other accomplishments I can't name them all here. In any case, it's the end of an era. My husband was always a Peyton Manning fan. So for years, we were Indianapolis Colts fans just because we followed Peyton. And by the same token, when he moved to the Denver Broncos, we became Broncos fans too. Here in the Volunteer State, he is the favored son because he started his football career here in Tennessee at the University of Tennessee, where he set all sorts of records and set himself up for a promising pro career. Too bad our heroes can't play forever. But he is going out on top with another Super Bowl win under his belt this season. Peyton, we will miss you, but congratulate you on a swoon-worthy career, and of course your retirement too. Well done, sir.
But to end on a positive note, I must mention my all time favorite. She is a music legend. The great Dolly Parton announced just this week that she will be touring the US and Canada this summer, hitting a whopping total of 60 cities, something she hasn't done in more than 25 years. Tickets haven't gone on sale yet, but when they do, I will be first in line. This lady is amazing, and I can't imagine not seeing her in concert if I have the chance, especially since it's doubtful that she has too many more big concerts tours in her future. Dolly, I'm coming for you so save a dance for me.