1 Corinthians 16:14 ~ Do everything in love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Uncle Andy


Bryan's brother passed away on Monday February 5th. 
You guys know him from my posts as Uncle Andy. He was extremely intelligent and had a passion for ALL people; especially those with special needs. He was silly and funny and goofy and our kids absolutely adored him. They knew when Uncle Andy was around they were in for a good time.


For the past several years Andy struggled with depression and alcohol. These two beasts fed off each other and the grip they had on him was tight. It hasn't been easy watching Andy go through all he went through. It hasn't been easy watching the family walk this path with him. It's been heartbreaking and if I'm being honest, frustrating at times. It was frustrating because so many tried to help Andy...himself included. Andy's internal vault was locked up tight and none of us knew exactly what was eating at him inside. There were several a conversation I witnessed and listened to between Bryan and Andy regarding his struggles. Bryan pleading with his brother, making suggestions, offering whatever support he needed, etc. All the while in the back of our mind was the thought we could lose him. To have our worst fear come to fruition has been nothing short of difficult.

For those of you who were able to attend the service for Andy on Friday February 9, 2018 you were able to witness a beautiful celebration of life. It was so perfectly Andy. Very relaxed. Very simple. Christ centered, but not in a preachy way. Thought provoking and of course, funny. Not an open seat in the place. The walls lined with people and people spilling into an overflow room and beyond. Thank you to each and every one of you for being there to honor Andy and support the family. There were tears of course (those Johnny Cash songs got me), but the laughs from the stories shared were soothing to the soul. You would be hard pressed to hear an Andy story and not get the giggles. Making people laugh and feel good came very naturally to him. He truly had a gift when it came to interacting with people from all walks of life.

I want to personally say thank you to everyone who has had the family in prayer this past week, please continue to do so. Thank you for sending messages and sharing stories on social media. We have seen and read all of your posts. We have looked at all of the pictures and watched the videos. These have been very comforting to all of us, especially to Jane and David (aka Honey and Papa). Also a thank you to everyone who donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through our Great Strides team in Andy's memory in support of Bryce. Andy has been an active supporter of the cystic fibrosis community ever since Bryce was diagnosed at 3-weeks-old.




Andy's CF themed tattoo - click here to read the 65 Roses story.


Our Sydney is Andy's oldest niece and was not able to attend his service. Weeks ago she was invited to play in an out of town varsity soccer tournament, which happened to be on the same day as the service. What a hard decision for a 14-year-old to make: miss the funeral of an uncle she was crazy about or miss a soccer tournament she was very much looking forward to. We told Syd no matter what she decided to do the family would support her. She thought for a few days and ultimately decided that she would go to the tournament because she felt Andy would have wanted her to. She wrote a letter that was read at the service and I've copied it below to share with those that weren't at the service. 

*****

Where do I even start? On Monday, my uncle, David Andrew Jones left this Earth. Andy as we called him, had a kind and compassionate soul that I will never forget. He always had an energetic and happy attitude that could turn your bad day into an amazing one in just a few seconds. I don’t think I ever remembered a time when he wasn’t playing around with me, my siblings or my cousins. He always had something to say, whether it be a story about one of the kids he worked with, or details about a trip or an interesting place or person he saw. One of my favorite things about him was his creativity. He had so many ideas that were brilliant, for example his business where he helped children with disabilities learn though improv. When I was younger, I remember he told me about a crazy dream he had that he wanted to turn into a children’s book. He asked me to draw the pictures for him and although the book never got published it made me feel important and special because he wanted me to draw the pictures. I was only 6 or 7 at the time and he could have asked anyone to illustrate the book, but he wanted me to do it and I thought that was pretty cool.

To this day, Andy was the most selfless person I have ever met. He dedicated his time to helping kids with disabilities, which he was so passionate about. He was constantly helping friends. He let my siblings and cousins use his phone when we were younger and wasn’t over-protective even though he had a nice phone.

His colorful personality lead to many interesting conversations that I will never forget, like the several times we disagreed on what was the best candy, and our theories about Star Wars, The Walking Dead, and Marvel movies. To put it simple, he was one of the easiest people to have a conversation with.

When I was going into 5th grade, for my birthday, he gave me these little butterfly wings that you put on your shoe laces. They stuck out like actual wings and made my bright colored Adidas look like butterflies. I knew it looked silly for a girl my age to be wearing them but they were special to me because they were a gift from my uncle Andy. I wore those shoes almost every day, and when I looked down at them, I thought of him. 

The world truly lost a wonderful soul when he left, and though it’s hard to think about now, we must keep in mind that he is dancing with Jesus in Heaven now, looking down on us with no sadness or hurt or fear. He is in a better place and knowing him, he wouldn’t want us to mourn him. Let’s celebrate the 46 years that Earth had the privilege of sharing with him. He made a mark on every one of you in this room. We should be happy that he is in Heaven free of whatever was fueling his depression, and one day, I know I’ll see him again in Heaven. Until then we will keep him in our thoughts and remember the good times we had together. I’ll cherish my Andy memories until the day I join him in Heaven.

*****

Uncle Andy. Andy Bear. UA. Andrew.
You have left a hole in our hearts. I keep hearing your voice in my head saying "Jennnny Bear". It's hard to believe I'll never hear you say that again. Life just won't be the same.
Thank you for being an amazing brother-in-law and an even better Uncle to the kids.
   
  Andy and Sydney

Andy meeting Jordyn

 
Andy and Bryce




Jordyn loves monkeys so naturally Andy thought it fitting to dress as a banana for her 9th birthday party.

 

 


Andy with his biggest fans.





Giving Uncle Andy a wet silly.













Christmas 2017




One of my favorite pictures of these two. 


Twinning with Uncle Andy from the hat down to the black crew socks and black Chucks. 






 
Best man and best brother.    

David Andrew Jones
October 22, 1971  - February 5, 2018