Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Tomorrow we'll be in Dallas for the Cowboys game against the Miami Dolphins. Since I'll be out of computer range on Thanksgiving Day, then, I want to jump one day ahead. He would have been 20 tomorrow. Jantsen Barrett Cope was born November 27, 1983. And for fifteen years and seven months, he made this world a better place to live. Here are some of the words I spoke at his funeral in June of 1999 (following his sudden death from heart failure--which came with no warning): "I'd give anything if Jantsen could come out today for a curtain call. I'd be standing and cheering, applauding wildly for one of the best performances I ever expect to see. And as I applauded, I'd tell him thanks. I'd say, 'Thank you for teaching me about what's important in life. Thank you for exposing some of the insanity of this world by focusing on what really matters.' "Most of us have a way of living such a frantic, serious pace that we miss the blessings of God that are right in front of our faces. But not Jantsen. He preferred a slower pace. Why mow now if there is apple butter remaining to be eaten? That's not a bad philosophy of life--especially since scripture says that this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. So many of us can't enjoy today because we're living in the nostalgia of yesterday or because our lives are on hold while we wait for something in the future. But not Jantsen. He always enjoyed the moment. Hanging out with his cousins and friends. Playing golf. Fishing. Telling knock-knock jokes. Playing pool. Swimming. Playing hockey and skiing. . . ." I still miss him. I miss his bear hugs, I miss his gentle spirit, I miss his humorous imitations. It's fitting that Jantsen's 20th birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day. My nephew blessed my life in ways that I'll cherish until I see him again. I'm looking forward to another bear hug!

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