This I Believe: I Believe in the courage, will, and determination of a man.

Lawson - Gainesville, Florida
Entered on April 25, 2008

I believe in the will, determination, and courage of a man expressed through my dad. My dad was born on August 15th, 1959 to Lawson Alexander Heflin II and Glenda Heflin at Sibley Memorial Hospital, the same place as his father and eventually I would be born. He was named Lawson Alexander Heflin III after his father. He was born into a family that would eventually consist of three other brothers and sisters, which would place them into the category of a baby boomer family. Growing up my father was always looked up to as a role model to his brothers and sisters and today he is mine. As a boy my dad grew up in a household you could call typical of the time period. My Grandma was a true lady, she cooked , she cleaned, she looked after the kids, and was still always at her best for her husband. My Grandfather was a typical man of the era. He worked long hours, came home and expected the house to be orderly with dinner ready on the table. Now I am not saying he was an abusive father but he was very persuasive in his acts of punishment and always put his foot down when he felt he was being contradicted or overstepped. This would mold my father into the man he is today.

My dad was the typical golden boy among his peers. He was smart and got good grades. He was good looking and very popular with the ladies. He was involved in sports, mainly in motocross and motorcycles in general. Now growing up with a father that beloved in working hard and earning a living, he always gave my dad a hard time when it came to being a man. He eventually broke my dad down and he ended up dropping out of school and went to work for him in the family business. My grandfather owned a used car lot and my dad went to work for him for the next couple of years. My dad, being dependent as a nature, moved out and got his own apartment when he was 19. Now not only did he have his own home but he had his own car and had his first motorcycle. He was now further in live at 19 then most 30 year olds today are. He went to work in Washington D.C. working as a roofer. He was determined to make it on his own, become a man and live up to his fathers expectations.

At this point in his life he had found a wife and all seemed to be perfect in his eyes, but it wasn’t. He would soon reap the horrors of a marriage gone wrong ending in a divorce. Although he was distrait he moved on with the heart of a lion. He soon went back to the car business in order to earn a steady income but the temptation of the motorcycle business was always in the corner of his mind. With his life back in the right direction my dad meet my mom and after a short time they ended up getting married and not long after I was born. Now my dad had the American dream, a great job, a home and now a family. With this now renowned glory, he new it was time to take on a greater challenge, he was ready to start his dream of starting his own motorcycle business. This was his final conquest and he did so to the best of his abilities and the business would stay around for the next four years. After my fathers accident in which he ended up driving his motorcycle off a 60 foot cliff, he new it was time to take it easy. So we decided to move to Florida and start over.

This will and determination for a better life is what has made him my hero growing up. Here is where the courage aspect comes in to pare as my father at age 44 was diagnosed with the rare blood disease of Hepatitis C. A disease that has no cure but only a constant realm of pain. He started chemo therapy soon after the news but in a new way. He was instructed to inject a 5 inch needle into his ribcage in order to get the medicine to his liver. This everyday torture has eroded my mind with the memories of seeing my father, a grown man, cry and squirm in a seemingly never ending horror movie. Here is the courage of a man who is determined to make it, a man who doesn’t want to seem weak, or let his family down.

The will of a thousand men, the determination of five hundred husbands, and the courage of one father. This is what has made me into the man I am today and hope to be as I life my life as close as I can to my fathers. He is my hero, he is a simple man in a simple world, but he has been my superman since I was born.