Randy Travis' road to recovery following his July 2013 stroke has been a slow one — and it's required the country icon and his wife Mary to adapt to a new way of both communication and life in general. The two, she tells People, have a "seventh sense, if you would" about each other's thoughts and feelings.

According to Mary, Travis' stroke affected "the whole third midsection of Randy's left brain," which controls speaking, reading and writing abilities. After the stroke, the singer spent four months recovering in various hospitals, and finally returned home just before Thanksgiving."

It was, Mary says, "like somebody left the gate open and boy, we were going to go live life."

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Still, Travis needed to re-learn even the most basic things: He didn't understand the telephone or the TV remote anymore, Mary recalls.

“It takes you back to raising a child," she reflects, "and you start all over again.”

On May 14, Travis will release a new memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life. The artist wrote the book with Ken Abraham, focusing on both his career triumphs and struggles.

"I don’t think he’s ever seen himself as a victim,” Mary admits. "I tell him all the time, ‘You speak volumes in your silence.' In his silence, he can make me feel like a princess. I feel so blessed to get to walk beside him through this.”

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