A Discussion of Criminal Justice Issues and Other Things

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I've received a number of phone calls, emails and other means of communications over the last couple days of encouragement and support. I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to share your feelings with me. Your kindness and friendship is most appreciated. In reflecting on the last couple days, I'm reminded of a statement written by Theodore Roosevelt. I've posted it here before but I think it bears repeating.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

--Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Velma Coddington October 16, 1936 - September 30, 2008

In September of 1970, I came home from school to a house full of people. Nobody had to tell me..my dad lost his fight with cancer. My mom took my brother and my sister and me out into the back yard and into the flower garden. She pulled off a white flower and said how God creates the flower and as it grows, it blossoms and as time goes on, it wilts. Mom pulled the petals from the flower and then said the flower eventually dies and loses its form to seed and comes back again some day.

The final petal of the flower fell on this past September 30th in the morning when my mom went to meet Jesus. She had endured three years of cancer treatments and her time came.

I attended a funeral for a friend earlier this year and the pastor said he felt that there comes a time when God says "That's enough...come home." My mom was an exceptional individual. She held our family together through some really tough times. When her time was near, I asked if she needed anything and she simply said for the three of us to take care of each other. Even at a time when she could have been bitter or sad, she still put others before herself. That was her way. She grew up in a tough time and a rough family situation. The last twenty years of her life allowed her a chance to find her way back to God and I'm grateful. She was blessed to find a great guy to marry and spend her years with. Grandpa "Cod" became a friend to us all and an bright spot in my mom's life.

It took a while to decide to place something here. Mom touched the lives of so many people I wanted to provide an opportunity to share at least a little bit of her life here. Right before she passed, she gathered the strength to look at us and say goodbye and to tell us she loved us. I can think of no better gift, nor any better memory. I can't help but think of the Martina McBride song "Broken Wing." A part of the song goes as follows:

"And with a broken wing
She still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing She carries her dreams
Man you ought to see her fly."

With each passing day, I feel her touch and know she is there because my mom finally got her wings to fly.