Gratituesday: Life


 On Friday night, my cousin Gary and his wife Kim were driving from Colorado to Kansas to be with family. Only about an hour from their destination, they were caught in a tornado and killed.

They had been so excited about this trip. It would have been the first time they were to meet their newest nephew. I’ve been reading on Kim’s and her sister-in-law’s blogs for the past several weeks about how excited all of them were to get together to see the baby and have a “sister lunch”. Kim, Jayme, Sally and Crystal all have had wonderful relationships and loved being together. 

Gary and Kim had been married just over one year. They were absolutely perfect for each other and absolutely in love.

Both Gary and Kim loved the Lord and followed Him. Thank you God, thank you God, they are with Jesus now.

Gary worked as a chef at a Boy’s Ranch in CO. His dad, my uncle, used to tease that Gary and I had the same career…we both cooked all day for a bunch of boys! 

You probably have met Kim here on my blog, but you would have known her as Suezque. She visited here and left comments all the time. She was a regular poster with Gratituesday. She was one of my biggest fans. I always loved hearing from her.  I wonder how long until I stop watching for Suezque’s comments. 

Kim was working to begin her own website called Her goal with her site was to encourage young married women as they worked to keep a home and work outside the home as well. She emailed me often with ideas…and mostly just with her excitement over beginning her own site.   While I was wrestling with disbelief that this tragedy had happened, I went to her Suezque @ Home site to just try to be with her one more time. It was then that I realized that truly, she is now at home and it gave the name of her site new meaning. And I praised God.

I have many, many things I am so grateful for this Gratituesday.

I’m grateful to you and for your prayers. I am comforted by you.

I’m grateful for my husband. When I got the phone call, he was home with me. When we were trying to figure out if we should go to KS to be with everyone and I said, “Matt, I don’t think I can stay away. I need to go.”  He just said, “Okay” and started packing.

I’m so grateful to be surrounded by family…to be able to hold people and weep with them. I needed to be here.

I’m grateful for blogging…as it brought all of the sisters closer, and helped me to get to know all of them so much better too. I loved being able to get to know Kim. And to get to know Gary better because of Kim.

I’m grateful for Marie and the friendship she had with Kim. Marie, I know you miss her so much. 

I’m grateful for loving people and for how they have cared for the family during this time. I love watching how people have just stepped up everywhere and taken care of everything from casseroles to toilet paper.

I’m grateful for the life of Gary and Kim. God brought them together and they completed one another. Their love and joy for each other and for God was evident as they served Him together. 

And now, they are truly experiencing life. The life we all long for. The life we are given hope for because of Jesus. 

I thank God for life. Life lived for him on this earth and life lived with Him in Heaven. Oh how much we all have to look forward to in Him!
Experiencing death of loved ones makes you realize how much we should all be appreciating the little things. I’d love it if you’d share with us. Please leave a comment or link up to let us know how God is working in your life. God is so good.

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  1. Kari Coppinger says

    I’m thankful that you acknowledge God in your grief as well as in the joys in your life.

    I’m thankful that you got in the car to go be with your family. I am continually amazed at the ministry of “just being there.” I am thankful you were blessed as you were also a blessing during those hours at your aunt and uncle’s on Saturday.

    I’m thankful you can be there for the funeral Wednesday.

    I’m thankful for the family of God so that we are not alone in this world.

    I’m thankful for the words of others that help us express ourselves and in that vein, here is a quote from Madeline L’Engle and a link to the lyrics for “You Never Let Go” by Matt Redman.

    “Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.” –Madeleine L’Engle


  2. says

    Thank you for sharing with us Laura.

    Praise God they knew Him and they are WITH HIM!!!

    May God give you grace, strength and peace during this time.

    May He help your little boys too during these days– May He give them a calming peace, during this time.

    You and your family are in our prayers!


  3. says

    Seeing you get out of the car on Saturday brought on a surge of emotions and a big smile to my face. Thank you thank you for coming. And I”m so grateful that you can stay til Wednesday.


  4. says

    Laura, I’m praying for everyone now. Oh the confusing emotions of missing them here on earth, yet having joy knowing that they are with God.

    I had only just begun to get to know Kim. I’m sad because I know that I’m going to miss out on her friendship.

    Blessings on you and have a safe trip.


  5. says

    Death is ugly, no matter how it shows its face. But praise God that you do not mourn without hope. Your cousins no longer can be touched by the far reaching effects of sin, but instead are glorying in the presence of our Saviour.
    Take heart knowing they precede you to His side.


  6. says

    Such a beautiful post and what a wonderful testament for your cousin. Her beauty and love for the Lord and her husband was so evident in her posts. I am so sorry for your loss, and for the grief you are all going through. You are so right, they are now enjoying the life we all long for.


  7. says

    Laura, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding us all to stop and thank the Lord for LIFE- earthly AND eternal.

    Blessings to you,
    Kristy @ Homemaker’s cottage


  8. says

    Dear Laura,

    I live in Kansas and have been living through the terrible storms over the weekend. I am so sorry for your loss. I heard about this couple on the news and did not realize this was your relative. Just know that you and your family are in our prayers.

    In Christ,


  9. Nova Quigley says

    Dear Laura & Matt and family,
    Kari emailed me yesterday; I was emailing others re: two other tragic deaths. Today I read your Gratituesday blog and I cried and grieved with you. I thought about how we hear things on the news and sometimes think how sad. Then we hear of tragedy that involves someone we know…….. I thought about how my deep tears will be a brief “moment” compared to yours and those of the family — our PRAYERS will continue.
    I am grateful that you can experience the Lord being with you in the midst of your deep pain. [I’ve looked at the news sites and pictures!] How ironic they didn’t even live there — and they were so anticipating this visit. Yes, Gary and Suezque @ Home…..
    May God, as he promises in Isa. 42:16, lead and guide you along unfamiliar paths, turn the darkness into light before you, make the rough places smooth.
    Praise God for the people who have been God’s love to you. May they continue (to borrow Claudia’s phrase) prop you up with their love.
    May tomorrow’s funeral (Wed.) be the mixture of sadness and blessing that you need.
    Nova & George


  10. says

    I am so sorry about your cousin and his wife. I’m so thankful they are with the Lord right now! That is such a tough thing. We can’t answer the whys and that’s okay. I pray peace on your entire family.


  11. says

    I am so sorry for this loss that your family is going through. It is such an encouragement to read your post, though. I pray for God’s blessing of peace upon you and your family, as you walk through a journey of grief.


  12. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss Laura. I’ve felt the sting of family death many times and it never gets easier when another one comes along.

    I’m new to Gratituesday, and I wasn’t going to comment honestly, but I felt the need to express my gratitude for your post, as it was heartfelt and touched me.



  13. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss and that of your family. I love the quote posted by Kari, so true.

    Once again I’m reminded how small some of my troubles are in the big scheme of things.

    And I’m amazed what a small world it is–this couple had been on my mind a lot–I moved in Aug. from the KS town where the funeral is and just barely knew Gary’s mother. What a blessing to know they both knew Jesus.


  14. says

    Oh friend. I’m aching with you and praying for you.

    Sorry this is so late in coming. My Gratituesday post was about God always being there.

    Love you Laura!


  15. says

    Just reading this brings tears to my eyes. I lost my 25 year old brother to suicide recently and I can’t even begin to describe how it has changed everything for me. It has changed my focus to the eternal rather than the temporal. It has caused me to savor each day and each moment with loved ones.
    And I wonder if the heartbreak will ever subside.
    I am so sorry for your family’s loss, and I’m glad you can rest in the fact that they are home now.
    I wish I could.
    One resource I recommend is
    Your family will be in my prayers,


  16. Joyce says

    I was so blessed to meet you and your family. Your boys are wonderful. What a good time I had watching them!! Thanks for all you do, for all you say, and for living out your faith.


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