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Inspiration, Infectious, Love

Well... It's been a little bit since we have had a Blog post, so I thought I would try and give a brief update to let everyone know how things are going. As Julia mentioned in our last blog post, I underwent emergency surgery in Chattanooga to remove a damaged colon and have been recovering ever since. Since that time, Julia's brother passed away after a battle with a very aggressive form of brain cancer, which saw us travel to Nebraska to be with family.

Celebration of Life

Julia's brother was a remarkable human being that touched the lives of so many in a short amount of time. His impact while on earth was unmatched and his selfless courage to be a champion for pediatric brain cancer has been nothing short of remarkable since his son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 5. Little did anyone know that Andy would enter into his own battle with brain cancer at age 42, which was so aggressive that his treatment options were limited. When I think of Andy, three words come to mind:

  1. Inspiration: Since the moment of his son's diagnosis, Andy became a champion for all children battling this terrible disease, eventually creating the Team Jack Foundation as a way to raise more than $8.4M for pediatric brain cancer research providing an avenue for patients like Jack to gain access to clinical trials and promote innovative methods for treating a disease that children around the world should never have to experience. Andy's life and the work he did in support of not just Team Jack, but pretty much everything else he did, truly was an inspiration, particularly to Julia and I as it was his personality, tenacity, and entrepreneurial spirit the inspired Julia and I to assume this adventure at Mecca Camp Resort.

  2. Infectious: Andy's personality and smile could light up any room he walked into and immediately pick up those around him, regardless of the situation. There isn't a moment that goes by that we don't think about that big smile, positive attitude, and infectious laugh.

  3. Love: Andy's love for his family was unmatched. However, it wasn't just the love for his wife and children, it was the love for everyone and that Love was so strong and so impactful that anyone who met him could feel it. There was a no bigger cheerleader for anyone than Andy and that support was steeped in love and joy as he watched football games, volleyball games, track meets for nieces and nephews, or supported business adventures with kind words and advice.

The Dash

During the viewing, Julia's oldest brother shared a poem with all of those in attendance. The poem spoke volumes to everyone in the room and it only seems fitting to share it here as well.

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash? - Linda Ellis


As Julia and I wrap up a couple of long, painful, and emotional weeks, we take solace in the fact that Andy's Inspiration guides us, his Infectious attitude propels us and his Love fills our hearts as we press forward with Mecca Camp Resort. Thanks to our friend Dean Donnelly, renovations have continued to press forward and our architect has kept the ball moving forward with the planning commission. We will return to Tennessee later this week with one of God's newest angels looking over our shoulders.

May God Bless You All! We look forward to you visiting Mecca Camp Resort in the near future.

Chris & Julia Jones

Mecca Camp Resort


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Jan 28, 2023

I have just read the story here about Andy and my eyes are literally just FULL of tears. Such a heartbreaking story but also wonderful b/c of his extraordinary life. Apparently, he left such and impact (a big footprint) on all who came in contact with him. He was very blessed in many ways. Now he's an angel watching over his earthly family who miss him sooo much! It was a story of love and inspiration for all of us to keep going and make the most of the "LINE" between our birth and our death. I never had thought of it that way. The line was just a dash to me. Now I see it was "our time" that…

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