Two Years Later

Fifty Three days into 2020 and I feel and find my way moving forward. I hope you too are sensing that this year can be special as you make the decisions to grow healthier in a holistic way by paying attention to the journey you have chosen. 

Tomorrow, February 23, 2020 will be exactly two years since Bryan and I were shot by a couple of young men who were looking for…..looking for…..looking for…..God knows what. And whatever their intention beyond armed robbery, they left my son Bryan lifeless and me with four bullet holes in my body with little hope of surviving. 

Thanks to an awesome Trauma Emergency Team under the direction of Dr. Douglass Norcross at the Medical University of South Carolina, I physically survived and am alive today to tell the story not only about the event itself but the aftermath of ongoing recovery which continues 729 days since the shooting.

People tell me that Friday, February 23, 2018 was not my day to die. But they cannot with certainty tell me the reason why. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible we are told in Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed unto man, once to die. We’ve all figured that out but how we die and when we die remains forever hidden from us  this side of heaven.

Guns and violence are a common occurrence in America. According to, each day in our country 100 Americans are killed by guns and 200 are shot and wounded. Fifty eight percent of adults, or someone they care for, have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. I have kept up with these statistic on gun violence ever since the shootings At Sandy Hook. I never imagined I would become a statistic inside of this topic. But now that both Bryan and I are statistics, it seems my responsibility to add to the truth of just how violent this type of assault on human beings actually is.

I hope to engage on this subject through a couple of posts blended in with of course other topical matters each month on my blog. For now, today, just one day in the life of Mike Cooke, I wanted you, my friends to know a little bit about tomorrow, because tomorrow @ Life Community is a day to remember my son and to thank our friends who have stood with us through this tragedy.

The courage to move forward through even the difficulty of grief and suffering is not only a matter of our will, but it is as well a matter of ones will being acted upon by Grace. I like to think of grace as a fascinating relational concept which originated with the God who is more deeply in love with us than we have imagined. It is a lot like oxygen. We didn’t invent it, but we’ll need it if we’re going to go on living. And that, by the way, would be exactly what Bryan would want you and me to be doing.

If you knew Bryan at all, you know that he held on to life through his trust in his God. I’ll highlight more in upcoming posts of how Bryan did this in his day to day living in spite of how that day turned out. He inspired me and I know hearing more of his story, his struggles, and his life will do the same for you.

I also want to share more about the community which has surrounded our family. They have been under us, ahead of us, behind us and within us when the ambushes of grief and trauma attack. Community isn’t what most people have in mind. Community is where people really matter and others take the time even when it isn’t convenient to be present. Those stories need to be told as well, and  will be in future blog posts.

I’ve said enough for now. I‘m about to get ready to go meet some family and friends to share today with. To find strength in our relationships as together we remember the life of Bryan Cooke which is someone worth talking about inside of this community that he helped put together.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I would love to hear any and all thoughts and comments you may have. And if you have tomorrow morning free why not drop by Life Community Church at 10:15 and join us in celebration of Bryan, We’re at the Musical Theater Center @ 547 Long Point Rd. in Mt. Pleasant, 29464.


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