There was a time when Rory Feek envisioned Father’s Day as a day when he would be surrounded by his wife and his kids, all eager to shower him with love for not just a day, but a lifetime. But that vision got a tad cloudy when his wife and Joey + Rory bandmate Joey Feek passed away from cancer in March of 2016.

“I’m not waking up and kissing Joey and having a cup of coffee with her,” says Feek during a recent heartfelt interview with Taste of Country.

But instead of dwelling in this sad reality, Feek says he has grown to realize that while Father’s Day and every other day on the calendar may look different than he once envisioned, he really is okay with that.

“I do have someone to share this life,” says the accomplished author, who recently released a new book titled The Day God Made You. “This life is complete all on its own. It doesn’t require someone else.”

He chuckles for a second, and then he continues.

“I mean, I have Indy.”

Indeed, he and Joey’s daughter Indiana has served as an inspiration to nearly everyone who has seen that sweet smile of hers and experienced her joyful personality. She was born with Down syndrome, and many fans have followed her development online as she grew up and began attending school right there on the family's farm.

“I have Indy climbing into my lap all the time saying ‘Happy Birthday Papa’ even though it's not my birthday,” Feek says with a laugh. “Heck, it’s June 12 and she is still talking about Santa. Indy brings something to the equation that I didn’t know back then.”

Feek has admittedly learned much in his years as a father not only to Indiana, but also to his daughters Heidi and Hopie from a previous marriage.

“I am more present than I was then,” says Feek, referring to the time he spent raising Heidi and Hopie as a single father. “I mean, I was always present with the children, but when I was younger, I think had a harder time recognizing that this is the only place I needed to be and how special this time was and how special the opportunity to be a father was.”

And now, he will never, ever forget it.

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