Randy Travis and his wife, Mary, consider themselves to be lucky during the COVID-19 lockdown: They live on a farm, with plenty of opportunities for fresh air.  Plus, the country legend has plenty of personal experience with having to adjust to a dramatic life change overnight. In 2013, he suffered a debilitating stroke that robbed him of his ability to speak or sing.

“Randy and I were talking about it, reflecting on how our world kind of shut down and came to screeching halt seven years ago, when the stroke happened in July 2013,” Mary tells Rolling Stone in the couple’s latest interview.

“That’s when we hit a brick wall and everything changed and we were isolated from everything we had known before,” she continues. “So to us, [the COVID-19 shutdown] was not that much of a transition.”

Still, the pair acknowledge that for much of the rest of the world, the pandemic has brought life changes on an entirely new scale.

“But for people that have never been through something like [Randy’s stroke] in life, or a tragedy where your whole world has shattered and it changes in an instant, I’m sure that it’s hard to adjust to, because it was hard for us to adjust seven years ago,” Mary reflects.

Though Randy is still unable to perform the way he could before his stroke, he continues to recover, even doing things that his doctors didn’t think he would ever again be able to do.

For example, Randy will deliver a landmark performance on Josh Turner’s upcoming project, Country State of Mind, contributing to Josh’s rendition of “Forever and Ever, Amen.” His participation in the new version of the song marks Randy’s first recording session since his stroke.

By Carena Liptak
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