Once again, the odds weren't in the couple's favor for recovery, but their faith never wavered. "I never did give up," she said. "I prayed 'God, just give him to me one more day. I don't care how you give him back to me. Just give him back to me.' With Randy's faith, I don't think he ever felt like he couldn't make some kind of recuperation. I can only imagine the thoughts, the prayers, the conversations, he must have had while lying there with God. I don't believe he ever felt like he couldn't make some sort of a comeback. He's so strong in his mindset. There was never another option. We weren't ever ready – and we're still not ready to give up. The doctors' reports were very bleak, and they wanted us to pull the plug. They said that he needed a heart transplant, and all of these other things. It's hard to believe that any one human being could live through it, but if there's anybody who can, Randy Travis can. He's tough as a boot, and as sweet as an angel."
His 2016 re-appearances on the stage in Nashville at the Hall of Fame ceremony and the CMA Awards were both moments the couple worked hard to make happen, a further testament to his strength. "At the Medallion Ceremony, nobody but the two of us knew that he was going to sing 'Amazing Grace.' He hadn't told anyone, and it was something that we had worked on in therapy, in the car, and at the house. That was a very special moment in time. Putting that microphone in his hand, it was just like he came full circle. He knew exactly what to do. He knew what key it was in, where to start – it had all been so ingrained in him. At the CMAs the next week, with the direction and the creativity the CMA had put in place for the 50th Anniversary, honoring Randy like that meant so much to him." How did Travis feel about those moments? He softly -- though swiftly -- replied, "I felt love, and it was good."
Last year, Travis returned to the recording studio, helping to produce Where I'm Comin' From, an album from newcomer Shane Owens. Mary says that seeing her husband in his natural creative element was a feeling she will never forget.
"Just seeing him sit down at that board, to listen, and to know everything that was going on was amazing. If there is one chord missed, or one note flat or sharp, he perks up and tilts his head – he gets it. He knows everything that is going on in the studio. His ear is so fine-tuned, and I enjoy getting to watch him respond to all of that. We just adore Shane, and enjoyed going into the studio. He's such a fine young man, and so much of an upstanding Christian person. He's also very much traditional country, and it was an honor to be asked to come in and serve a purpose. That's something that Randy enjoys doing, and he certainly has an ear for it. If anyone has anything for someone to do with a fine-tuned ear, he's here." Randy agreed with her words, adding that, "I enjoyed that a lot. It was a lot of fun."
Travis is currently working with Ken Abraham on a book about his life and career, which Mary has found to be an experience that he has thrown himself into. "I've seen Randy become very intrigued while going back in his life, and re-living everything from his early childhood and music in his house to moving to Nashville. There's also the heroes and friends that he met along the way. I told Ken that Randy had already written his life story, though not on paper. Everyone who knows Randy knows he has had a colorful life. He's had a tough life at times, but also a beautiful life." And, thankfully, that life continues – spitting in the face of all the odds. "We're just thankful for life," says Mary, before pausing to say, "it could have been so different."