Randy Travis is taking “giant baby steps” in his recovery from the 2013 stroke that left him unable to walk or talk, says his wife, Mary Travis.
She recalls a recent big moment for the 57-year-old country singer in a new interview with CNN.
“We were coming out of Memphis and overhead was a sign, ‘Nashville’ and he was over in the passenger seat and went, ‘woo hoo’ and he pointed up and he said, ‘Nashville,’” she recalls. “I just sat over there in the driver’s seat and cried because I knew then that he read that sign, and he recognized the word, and then he said it. That’s a huge thing. Huge for us.”
In fact, Randy himself said a couple of things during the phone interview, such as that he’s doing “good.” When asked whether he plans to record music again, he said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
Randy memorably performed a few lyrics from the hymn “Amazing Grace” at his October 2016 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His fellow country singer Garth Brooks cried, and Randy received a standing ovation. He also brought down the house at the CMA Awards the following month, when he sang just one word from his song “Forever and Ever, Amen.”
Mary was engaged to the “I Told You So” crooner before he was hospitalized for a heart disorder that led to congestive heart failure and, eventually, the stroke that left him changed. They married in March 2015.
She noted another breakthrough her husband has had in his recovery, which includes plenty of physical therapy, is that he has started listening to his own music again.
“Music is his soul. It was really hard for him soon after the stroke to listen to his music,” Mary shares. “I remembered when I first put his music on, he cried and I thought, OK, we’re not ready for that.”
But he is now. A rotation of Randy’s favorite tunes includes his songs “He Walked on Water,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and, of course, “Amazing Grace.”
Mary thinks the song has special meaning for the country music great.
“Going through this ordeal with his health, stroke, and flatlining and making it back, when there was every opportunity in the world for God to take him home,” she says, “we’ve truly lived the life of amazing grace.”
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