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Grateful to Be Alive

AFTER A NEAR-FATAL STROKE IN 2013, THE COUNTRY MUSIC STAR RETURNS WITH A NEW MEMOIR, A HEALING MARRIAGE—AND HOPE

Six years after the stroke that nearly killed him, Randy Travis still has difficulty speaking. As he and his wife, Mary, sit holding hands in the den of their Tioga, Texas, home, surrounded by decades’ worth of his musical accolades, the 60-year-old country icon answers most questions with a simple “yeah” or “no.” But it’s clear the two have their own unspoken language. And that Randy, who’s quick with a smile, especially when he looks Mary’s way, doesn’t miss a trick—or the chance to play one. “If you walk out a door, he’s probably going to lock it on you,” says Mary, 60, as Randy laughs beside her. “We make it a point to find something to laugh about every single day. That makes all the difference in the world. Even through the tears sometimes, of sadness and defeat, you smile.”

That positive outlook has helped the couple rebuild their life together on this ranch just outside Dallas, a 325-acre spread they share with

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