Tucson tragedy survivor speaks about anniversary of husband's death
"He was probably the kindest, most compassionate God-loving man I've ever met and he taught me to be a much kinder person."
When Mavy Stoddard talks about her husband Dory, she isn't just talking about the love of her life. She's also talking about the man who saved her life.
It was Dory's quick action that kept Mavy from being killed by Jared Lee Loughner when he opened fire at a Tucson mall three years ago this week.
"I was shot three times in the legs, but he was killed. I felt his body give," she says.
Dory used his own body to block the bullets from Mavy and after the bullets stopped, the loving couple spent Dory’s last moments together.
"I'm grateful that God let me hold Dory as he died,” Mavy says. “It took about 7 to 10 minutes, but I was able to tell him that I wasn't hurt and of course that I loved him and that was what he wanted. He died with a smile on his lips."
Three years later, the memory of that day hasn't faded. Stoddard has made her way to Boise, getting her closer to a daughter and grandchildren.
She says her focus now is living in honor of her late husband.
"You can either sit down and do nothing and be miserable and bitter or you can sit down and do nothing and let your kids tell you what to do and still be miserable and bitter or you can make a life. And that's what I chose to do," Stoddard says.
Stoddard faced Loughner at his sentencing hearing, but she says even with her husband’s killer behind bars the shooting still doesn't make sense.
"He murdered six people in vain and he hurt 13 of us and would have killed us all and what for? There's no rhyme or reason to any of these shootings,” she says. “I mean, like those 20 babies in Connecticut. What for?"
That's a question she's left asking with no answer on its way.
But, she says her goal now is to spread what she does know to everyone she can.
"If you love someone, hug them and tell them that you love them before you leave them,” she says. “Nothing on this earth is worth being sorry you didn't."