At Justin's funeral I felt compelled to give the eulogy. I had hand-written my notes on paper, and after reciting the eulogy, I placed those notes in his coffin. Since that time, several people, both in attendance and those unable to attend, have asked for a copy of that tribute. Although the only notes I had are with Justin; the thoughts, words, and emotions are well engraved in mind. Please allow me to share them once more.
When children are born, we, as parents, set limits and bounderies in an attempt to keep them safe and protect them from harm.Justin was one of those rare kidswho, rather than seeing these as a source of security, perceived them as a challenge.If he believed these prevented him from being where, or who, he wanted, he would use every ounce of energy to overcome them. He couldn't tolerate a playpen. He had to have the run of the house. Before he could crawl, he would roll from one fascinating object( we really didn't want him messing with)to another. He began walking at ten months. I believe this was primarily so he could get there quicker. It didn't matter where 'there' was, just make the trip quick. At eleven months, he graduated to Fischer-Price rollerskates. I remember the older neighborhood kids rolling up and down the street with him for hours. He loved it. By twelve months, he was pushing a scooter. This is when his personality and sense of humor began to flower. It's also when we began using the phrase, "He's just being his own dude". He didn't care much for the usual Saturday morning cartoons and Disney videos. The "Wizard Of Oz" bored him. But he loved the quirky "Return To Oz". One of his favorite videos was the "Original Batman Movie". After dressing as Batman once for Halloween, he refused to wear his pajamas unless his underwear were on the outside for the remainder of his childood. "Just being his own dude". Hours of "Ren and Stempy" and "The Simpsons"; these were his type of cartoons. When "South Park" came along, you'd have thought he'd struck gold. These were the 'bicycle years'. We probably could have given him a stripped-down bike frame and two tires and he'd have been fine. All the bells and whistles just became encumberances that held him back. I'm sure there are enough parts lying around the local dirt tracks he used to frequent to build another two or three bikes.