His attitude toward sports was also mirrored in life, in that he would often side with the underdog. Justin had a tendancy to befriend those who had few friends. It didn't matter that someone wasn't the most popular, the most this, or the most that. "I don't care what everybody else says", was a common remark. And if he did make that commitment, you knew he he had your back until you no longer needed him or wanted him there. Nor were his friendships contained by bounderies delineating townships, cities, or school districts. He challenged the usual school rivalries and strove to be a common link between Madison, Middletown, Monroe, and Lakota. I never quite understood his drive to maintain such wide network of friends. Justin loved to make his friends laugh. He would do about anything to get a good laugh. Even if this meant bending( or possibly breaking )a few rules and placing himself in harm's way. Just being his own dude. Limits and bounderies. Being your own dude. Two forces that sometimes clashed with such force, it shook even the family tree to it's roots. We postponed Justin obtaining his driver's license until he was seventeen. His propensity for combining fun with risk-taking was too obvious. When tradgedy strikes, we often look to our elders for solace. In my case, some answers came from the opposite direction. As the old saying goes, "Out of the mouths of babes....". The second day after his death, I was talking with Justin's sister, Lindsay, and her husband, Kevin. Lindsay said, "Well you know Dad...."(which is somewhat ironic in itself, because it's usually me beginning a lecture with," Well, you know Linds...."). Anyway, she said, "You know Dad, I believe people are born with a destiny". Then Kevin added, "Kameron( Justin's nephew )truly looked at Justin as a hero." It took me awhile to process that conversation, but then it began to make some sense for me. A hero is someone who gives of their life so that others may live. If only a fraction of those whom he touched are able to encorporate a piece of his life into their lives....if only one vital organ survives transplantation....Justin will have successfully fulfilled his destiny. Saturday November 8, 2003, Justin Matthew Lewis became a hero.
Justin's mother, Claudia Mann, has been working diligently to assist in the fulfillment of this destiny. She has been speaking at local highschools and with kids involved in driver's training courses
Key to new car