A Tribute to My Wife

“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 . 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.

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “A Tribute to My Wife

  1. Hi Steve-I just read your tribute to Karen in regard to caring for her mother. I was sorry to hear about your mother-in-law’s long struggle with PSP. To me the tribute was an indication of your love and support for Karen. I enjoyed seeing the picture of the family at the beginning of the tribute. Since you wrote this about 3 1/2 years ago, I don’t know if you’ll see this response or not. If you do read this, please tell Karen I applaud her care-giving for her mother and sympathize with her loss. I have some great memories of you and Karen. Hope all is well with you these days. Mozie

  2. Aaron, thank you for your comments. I don’t feel it takes courage to talk about my wife. She is a great lady! As you said, it is sometimes easy to forget the “important stuff.” Please make sure to say hi if/when our paths cross again.

  3. Steve,
    We have only recently met and I appreciate your courage to honor your wife publicly. It seems at times I am surrounded by folks who miss the “important stuff” and are so busy chasing their dreams they forget what really matters in life. Some things money can’t buy despite what we hear and read…. an Excellent Wife would be one of them. Good luck, I hope our paths cross again, sorry for your family loss.
    …..An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.

    The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.

    She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

    She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.

  4. Thank you for your comments. I do agree that it’s important to keep family a top priority. Not always easy, but important. And yes, they are both wonderful women.

  5. Steve:
    Your post about your Mother in law and wife was very moving. With the hectic pace of the world today, your message grounded me and speaks to what is really important, family. Thank you for sharing, it was inspirational and a fine tribute to two wonderful women.

  6. Denise, thanks for your comment. As you obviously know, it was a hard year last year watching her decline. Let us know when you are in town and we’ll have some wine on the porch.

  7. Steve,

    I was deeply moved by your Tribute as my Mom suffered from PSP for several years before passing away. We went thru years of misdiagnosis as Parkinson’s & other neurological diseases before the final diagnosis of PSP. It was tough for everyone and I took Dad to a couple of PSP conferences to educate us both to help cope as a caregivers. She donated her brain thru the PSP organization to help further research into this disease. I admire your wife and your tribute to her caregiving.

    My very best to your wife and as always, to you too.

  8. Jason, thanks for your kind comments. I do count it a privilege to be part of this industry. I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be an insurance agent. The challenges are there, but the opportunities are exciting (even at my age!).

  9. Well done Steve…great article…I am sure if your wife could she would say the same about you as a husband….

    As a consultant and adviser I am sure some agents may feel the same way as well…you travel a lot and give your time to agents who need help…your daily articles you write and share are equivalent to the way your wife was always there for her mother…you’re always there for us agents….your wisdom is vast and your experience is plentiful…

    Great job on the post and thank you for taking the post as an adviser to agents to help continue to make this the best damn career and industry the world knows..