The new year means a new beginning and a clean slate. And one man is determined to make the most of his new start on life, despite the challenges.
On a peaceful track of land in Norman filled with birds of a different feather, Randy Mize tends to his flock.
“I cry over the drop of a hat over these animals,” said Randy.
One duck, Randy says, was found frozen in the snow. “Why would you turn away an animal?”
Randy himself has been cooped up for a time.
“Prison there, prison here, I’ve been in a lot of trouble in my life,” he said.
The former Californian turned Oklahoman, makes no excuse for his past no matter how painful.
He said after having his daughter, he realized he needed to change.
“She was a day old and they literally took her out of my arms, and that’s when I’d like to say I sobered up that day. But I didn’t,” said Randy.
The next year was much of the same. “Getting high, getting drunk, with my kid in DHS custody,” he continued.
Randy’s breakthrough, his moment of clarity, was about eight years ago.
“I heard something say to me, ‘Enough, enough’”, said Randy.
A spiritual man – Randy felt saved.
“That was the last time I ever got high.”
Randy’s life soon turned around, he passed drug test and found a job.
“Why anyone took a chance on me I have no idea,” he said.
Randy’s been clean since 2008. Now, he’s the one providing second chances.
Some birds come to the farm injured and others are just too much for someone to handle. None are turned away.
The flock is growing and so is the family raising the animals.
“I shouldn’t have any of this, I should be in prison. There is a God and he changed my life, and that’s all I can tell you.”