“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (ESV)
My mother-in-law, Ky Gilbride, passed away in the early morning hours of December 4th after a long battle with Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). She was diagnosed about three years ago and the disease relentlessly progressed.
She took care of my father-in-law daily after his stroke in 1976 until his death in 1997. This was the reason I came into the insurance business and working for him was my first experience in an agency. She worked at Gilbride Insurance Agency – still family owned – until her retirement at age 78.
She was a great lady. She will be missed by her friends at Greenspring Village, where she lived for 14 years, as well as her family. I will miss her too. All joking aside, she was a great mother-in-law and she treated me like another son.
This great lady raised an equally great daughter – Karen. I am proud to call her my wife.
Karen was devoted to her mother. She traveled as her companion on many cruises in the years after her father passed away. And then became her mother’s strongest advocate in the later years as her health was failing.
A note she received from a long-time friend of her parents says it better than I could:
“Karen, you were without a doubt the most precious daughter a Mom could ever have. All of the trips you made up here to take her to Dr. appointments, etc. and to overlook her continued care for many years did not go unappreciated by her. She knew that you were her advocate at Greenspring and it made her life much easier. The love you showed for her was so evident and she was really blessed to have you.”
Mura and Ron
Karen traveled from our home in the Nashville area to the DC area for three to five days at a time at least once a month for several years. She took her mom to doctor and dentist appointments. She took her to see the Virginia Grand Military Band, a favorite of her mom’s. We played their music at the reception after her memorial service.
She took her out shopping until she wasn’t able to get in the car anymore. She wheeled her in her chair to meet her friends for lunch in the Bistro.
And in the final months she sat by her side, made sure she had her hair done every Friday, held her hand and talked to her.
“Honor your father and your mother” has new meaning for me now because I have seen how my wife loved and cared for her mom. It wasn’t always easy. They didn’t always agree. But Karen stuck by her mom’s side for the whole journey.
Karen, you are a great lady just like your mom. I’m honored to be able to call you my wife.