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Country music legend and Grand Ole Opry fixture Jeannie Seely has lived a life that many can only dream about. Yet, even idyllic lives have their challenging times, and Jeanie is now leaning on her friends, family and fans to get her through one of them.

On Jan. 31, Jeannie headed to her Facebook page to ask for prayers for her husband Gene, who is currently experiencing his share of health issues.

“Yesterday was a better day than day before,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “His vitals are holding pretty steady and his breathing is much improved. Still can’t have water, which is heart wrenching to hear him ask. Has days and nights turned around so he’s resting right now.”

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And while Jeannie took the time to update everyone on what her husband is going through physically, she also offered an update on how she is handling everything emotionally.

“As for me, I feel better today … only woke up twice last night,” wrote Jeannie, who married Gene back in 2010. “I take my obligations very seriously, so it was difficult to cancel the cruise, but my foremost obligation is to my husband and I need to be with him right now. Making that decision took a lot of pressure away and I can’t thank Time Life people and the Grand Ole Opry for their understanding. I married into a wonderful family and we all on the same team with our love and dedication to this amazing man. As for all of you who have had us in your prayers, thank you … I would appreciate if you would continue to do so.”

She had been scheduled to go on StarVista Live’s week long, annual Country Music Cruise, where a bevy of stars perform, sign autographs, participate in Q&As and panel discussions about their careers.

Just one day before her post, on Jan. 30, Jeanie documented some scary times in Gene’s recovery.

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“It was a rough day today,” she wrote. “Heart went into tachycardia every few seconds, finally leveled out with an oxygen mask rather than nostrils. Has pneumonia in one lung. He’s exhausted and so am I. Prayers are needed …and appreciated. Thank you for your loyal support … you’re amazing friends.”

Gene’s health issues seemed to have begun back on Jan. 12 when he was rushed to the hospital just hours before Jeannie was to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.

“Calling all angels,” she wrote at the time. “My sweet, wonderful husband is so ill with that terrible stomach virus. I’ve canceled my Opry show tonight … So sorry to do that, but we don’t want to expose anyone else to sit with Gene. This is mean stuff … Take care friends … Stay safe stay well … Appreciate your prayers.”

For years, Jeannie has been a vital presence both within country music and on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Just last year, she celebrated 50 years as an Opry member. She is best known for her hits from the 1960s and early ’70s including “Don’t Touch Me,” “Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You” and “Can I Sleep In Your Arms.”

“The Opry has been a way of life for me, and one that I am so delighted I’ve been able to live,” she said in an interview with “The Tennessean.” “I can’t even express how blessed I know that I am, and I do not take it for granted, ever.”

Please join us in praying for Jeannie, Gene and all who love them during these trying times.

A country music legend asks for prayers for her ailing husband Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM
Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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