Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

I got to spend a very relaxing weekend with family this past weekend and I thought Id take a minute to reflect and tell you what my family really means to me.

I really got a chance to sit and think some about my family and how much I appreciate them.

My aunt Brenda came in from Peculiar, Mo., this weekend and I got to spend a little extra time with her and my grandmother this weekend. We had a chance to do a little shopping and have some lunch as well as visit the cemetery where my grandfather is buried. It was a great chance to get some quality time in with my aunt, whom I dont get as much time with as I would like. I always try to make it a point to see her and spend some time with her when shes visiting.

Visiting the cemetery was a little surreal for me. My Grandpa Claude passed away two years ago this past Saturday and this was the first time I had gone to see his grave since the funeral. It has been a tough decision for me to make. I am one who prefers to remember one in their life, relying on the memories that I have of them from their life and our precious time together. My grandpa was an amazing man. He was an auctioneer, a father, a husband, a storyteller, and most of all my grandpa. I can remember as I got older sitting on the back porch with him, eating lunch or just hanging out and him telling me stories from his Air Force days. I always loved when he would tell me the stories. Even if it was the same story Id heard dozens of times, he was always able to grab my attention and I was completely enraptured by it.

I always loved to watch my grandpa at an auction. He had such a rhythm when he was calling and always joked with the people at the auctions. He really had a way with people. I like to think that I get some of my skills with people from him. Im certain hed be proud of where I am and what Im doing today.

I am glad that I had a chance to share some moments with my family this past weekend. I got a chance to hear stories from my grandma, my aunt Brenda, my aunt Tracey, and even my parents. It always seems to be a slight party when my aunts and my dad get together. At times the weekend was emotional. It gave me a chance to think about my grandpa and to learn more of what he meant to my aunt Brenda and my grandma. Sometimes I think that I should have taken more time to really stop and appreciate my grandpa. Ive done a lot of reflecting on what he meant and still means to me in the two years since hes passed. I did a lot more of that this weekend. I thought a lot about him when I visited his grave. When I was there it brought back some amazing memories of him and Im glad that I had the chance to remember him as I remembered him.

So heres to my grandpa and the rest of my family. I really would be lost without them.

(Stefanie Cope is a staff writer for the Columbus Advocate. She can be emailed at