Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm delighted to interview Dr. Richard Mabry today and find out "The Dr. Richard Mabry Love Story." I'm also delighted to be on his blog today, where he interviewed me (click here to read it).

Tell us a little about yourself—a short bio, published books, manuscripts you're working on.

RM: Thanks for having me, Kristy. I’m a retired physician, having left practice in 2002 after twenty-six years in private practice and ten years as a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. At that point I’d written or edited eight medical textbooks and over a hundred professional papers, and I figured I was through with writing. I thought I was going to work on my golf game in retirement, but as I explain below, God had other plans.

In addition to my non-fiction book, I’ve had articles published in Upper Room, In Touch magazine, and Grief Digest. I’ve written two mainstream Christian fiction novels, both under consideration for publication, and I’m almost through with the draft of the third, my first venture into the area of suspense. There are more details on my web site: and on my blog:

What is your wife's name?

First, a word of explanation. My first wife, Cynthia, died in 1999, just a few months after our fortieth anniversary. I was devastated. My journey of recovery after her death, and the journaling I did during that time, formed the basis for my book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse.

(Kristy's note: It's a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who's grieving.)

Then, God blessed me a second time, and a year-and-a-half after I lost Cynthia, Kay and I were married. Her name is actually Karla Kay, but she’s always been Kay to me and to everyone who knows her—except the government and our insurance carrier.

How long have you been married?

Kay and I celebrated our sixth anniversary in February. However, figuring that we weren’t spring chickens anymore, we decided to count each year as five, so I guess this last one was our pearl anniversary. (Don’t remind her—I didn’t give her pearls).

Were you praying for a wife (as opposed to just trusting God with your entire future)?

Frankly, I didn’t think I would ever marry again. It took me a long time to trust that God would someday reveal to me why I was still alive. No, I didn’t pray for a wife, but obviously God knew I needed one.

How did you meet her?

Kay knew both Cynthia and me because she’d worked for me off and on for twenty-five years. When I closed my private office and moved to the local medical school as a professor, I made sure my employees had job opportunities there. Kay quickly moved out of the secretarial area into billing, so I rarely saw much of her, except when I miscoded a claim. When Cynthia died, Kay had been alone for over fifteen years. About eight months after Cynthia died, I realized I needed to be able to sit down and unburden myself to someone. I thought about it, and because Kay probably knew me better than anyone, with considerable trepidation I asked her to have dinner with me one night, just to talk. We didn’t know what God was starting in our lives at that time.

Was it love at first sight, or did love come softly?

Neither Kay nor I dreamed what was happening as we had a few dinners together. We’d leave work and go eat somewhere near the campus. When I was “talked out,” I took her back to get her car, and we both drove home. No big deal. We both figured this was just a friend being supportive of another friend. I began to realize it was getting serious when, after six weeks of seeing each other like that, I went to Cancun to lecture and as soon as I got to my room, I opened the doors and phoned her in her office so she could hear the waves crashing on the beach. It was so natural to want to share it with her.

How long did you date before marriage?

It’s hard to know exactly when it turned into “dating,” but I guess we dated about eight months before we were married. Honestly, we both tried to drag our feet, thinking this was going too fast. Of course, our friends were all saying, “Hey, you don’t have that many years left. Don’t hold back.”

Tell us about the time/occasion you told her you loved her.

We’d been dating for about three months. It had reached the point where I would call her or she’d call me every evening. One evening, just as she was about to hang up, she said, “I love you.” I immediately yelled, “Hey! Don’t hang up. Say that again?” So she beat me to the punch. I’d been holding back, thinking maybe I was rushing her. I came to find out that she thought she’d just throw it out and hang up, giving me a chance to back out if it scared me. Of course, it was just the opposite. Needless to say, my “I love you” followed hers, and I repeated it in person at the first opportunity.

Tell us about the proposal.

I guess it came in stages. We’d been going out to eat at local Tex-Mex restaurants, interspersed with some German and Italian spots. That night I took her to an upscale restaurant, Beau Nash. Since we were sort of early, we had the room almost to ourselves. Glass walls all around, greenery everywhere, a lovely evening outside. (Did I tell you that there was a tornado the night we first went out to eat together, and rained every time thereafter for the first month?). Anyway, the setting was perfect. I held her hand, and said, “Kay, I’d like to propose a committed monogamous relationship.” I thought she’d never stop laughing. The formal proposal came soon after. I said, “Kay, I love you and I want you to marry me.” Fortunately, she said “yes.”

Tell us about your wedding.

It was a family gathering in the parlor of our church, preceded by lunch for everyone at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, La Calle Doce. Our minister of music sang Be Thou My Vision and Great Is Thy Faithfulness, and a dear friend played the piano. No wedding march—we just stood up and our minister read the vows. We each had written things to say to each other and to our families. I still have those words, and I cry when I read them.

Wasn't there something humorous that happened at the ceremony?

RM: Yes. The pastor was afraid he might inadvertently say Cynthia instead of Kay. He worried and worried about not making that slip. At the end of the ceremony, he had us turn to face our families and said, “May I present Dr. and Mrs. Kay Mabry.” Well, he got the Kay part right, anyway!

Thanks, Dr. Richard. We enjoyed these tidbits about you and Kay.


At 9:24 AM, Blogger Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for having me as a "guest." I think folks will enjoy your interview on my blog, as well.

If you ever get tired of Florida, we have a nice, sunny coast in Texas.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Glad I could highlight you and your book. Thanks for the interview, and, for doing the interview of me! I enjoyed both experiences.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Angie said...

Oh, Kristy, what a sweet interview. Thanks for having the foresight to turn your interview around to one of Dr. Mabry. I really enjoyed reading this.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Glad you commented, Angie. It's an interesting angle, isn't it? A writer's love story?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Glad you commented, Angie. It's an interesting angle, isn't it? A writer's love story?

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

Very sweet interview. I first learned of Dr. Mabry when I was coping with the premature death of my niece. He offered kind words and I believe his book will help my nephew.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for your comments, Patricia. Yes, his book is helpful.


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