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 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.


About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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