One thing I have learned is that everything I thought was important isn’t and everything I didn’t think mattered was everything I’ve ever wanted. Stay safe over the holiday and remember that every person is precious and they deserve to get home safe to their loved ones just as much as you do, so celebrate in a manner that makes sure everyone gets home safe. Happy New Year. – Matthew Cordle
Vincent Canzani 1952-2013
The question that I am asked the most is “why did you make the video?” My answer is because it was the right thing to do and to prevent others from doing what I did. We all were taught the difference between right and wrong and if you do something wrong you own up to it. I know how hard of a struggle it is to own up to your wrongdoings, I’ve been running away from my own for my whole life and it even took me nearly 3 months to make the decision to accept my responsibility in the death of Mr. Canzani, so I am no better than anyone else. The point I’m trying to get across is that there are more important things than trying to save your own skin, and in doing the right thing you are really saving yourself in the long run anyway. Another reason for making the video is so hopefully people can grasp the enormity of such a tragic event from this video rather than having to experience it first hand. For some reason we can’t truly understand something until it happens to us, I’m not sure why that is but I want to help others figure out what I couldn’t see myself. -Matthew Cordle
Although this blog is for Matthew to give insight into his thoughts and what he is going through on a daily basis I am also going to include family and friends input from time to time. I know Matthew is the one that did something wrong- but I do feel people sometimes forget there is a family behind the person who committed the crime too. I will never know what my brother has to deal with from his actions but I can give you a look into how it affects our lives. Matt stated that his mood changes frequently just on a 15 minute call. This is so true. Most of the time he tries to stay positive. He doesn’t have much to look forward to right now at CRC so those 15 minute calls are precious to us all. It is so hard when he is having a bad day or feels “defeated”. One day he called and was talking about how everyone in the prison is getting out before him (or received a shorter sentence than him). He was very frustrated. Or another time he said he didnt know if he could do this. I told him he didn’t have a choice. What can you really say? We remind him of his message and that thru his story he can help others. I read to him comments everyone leaves for him and show him the support. It changes my day and mood too. Sometimes after I get off the phone with him I just cry. Even if it was a good call….I cry because I am happy of the person he has become but for selfish reasons because I don’t get to enjoy that person right now. My family and Matt’s girlfriend text daily to see if he called anyone, what mood he is in, anything new etc. I try to put myself in his shoes and imagine being locked in a cell with other criminals, some with scary crimes or have been to prison multiple times….having to stay in that cell for 22 hours a day with not much to do. I honestly think I would go crazy. I think that would be a test to anyone. But I continue to look forward to his calls, no matter what mood he is in. It truly reminds me to cherish those you love, even if it can only be during a 15 minute call.
As you can see, it is very hard to think positive in here and this place has a way of breaking your spirits. My family and girlfriend will be the first to tell you that my attitude during phone calls shifts more than a politicians in just 15 minutes. While I’ve accepted my crime, my sentence, and that I deserve to be here, it’s still very difficult to grasp exactly what being incarcerated for 6 1/2 years means, and it quickly overwhelms me. I know this is a quote from someone famous but my friend Alex Sheen (founder of Because I said I Would) told me something along the lines of “The time test is holding to your convictions. even when the mood you had when you made them is long gone.” I may have gotten that quote wrong, but the meaning of it is so damn true and sometimes it really takes gritting it out to hold true to yourself. As a society, we only hold on to things or believe in things while they are convenient and far to often only think of ourselves. -Matthew Cordle
This isn’t Matthew cell…..but to give you an idea of where he is.
The point of this blog is to follow Matthew Cordle in real-time on his journey thru a 6.5 year prison sentence, his thoughts, feelings, guilt. Matthew hopes that living his journey with him will give you insight to NOT make the same choices he did on the tragic night of June 22, 2013 where he chose to drink and drive. He hit Vincent Canzani who died at the scene. Matthew will carry that sentence for the rest of his life. This is just a glimpse into how he will deal with it…..
December 22, 2013
“This will be my first entry into my personal journal or “blog” as I am aware people will be reading it. I will be writing my thoughts freely as possible so if I offend anyone or come off in an unintentional way-I apologize. I am currently at the Correctional Reception rehabilitation Center or CRC, which is where you are processed and then placed in your Parent institution where you then serve out the remainder of your sentence. CRC is a closed-camp facility meaning you are
locked in a 2 man 6×9 cell for 22 hours a day. My days are simple. I read a lot, write a lot, workout (as much as one can in a tiny cell), and most of all think. Think about how I got here, how I could have stopped it, why I didn’t stop it, how could I have not seen it coming?” -Matthew Cordle