There are not enough appropriate words in any language to express to the amazing and wonderful people of the Big Cove and Tow String Community, the extent of my gratitude. It took me 30 years to get 20 and every moment, victory, battle, and loss and win was worth it. My respect for all of you is immeasurable, and I can only spend the rest of my life saying thank you for your trust, your friendship, competitiveness, playfulness and love. You humbled me when we buried our love ones. You honored me at the polls. You lifted me up, dusted me off, and gave me a second wind to stand up for you! I shared the pain, the happiness, the successes, and achievements of each family. I can still see the faces of our grandparents who trusted the lady from the fish farm, took a chance, and elected her! I hope I served you all well.
Our community is still a leader in tradition and culture, art, academics, and athleticism. We are proud and strong and our community resources and natural resources are the best on the Boundary. Hope, faith and gadugi, family, humor and the ability to stand and defend are paramount. Our men and women continue to answer the call when we are threatened or organizing for community emergencies. We have our own unique form of comedy, check on our elders, and comfort and provide for our children.
Big Cove, thank you is not enough for the years you allowed me to represent you. I am a much better person and my life is better because of you. I hope I made a difference in yours. I hope I made you proud, and kept us connected and informed.
None of this could have been possible without Johnny, Christopher, and Douglas. Looking back, sometimes I wonder why you stuck by me, but I am beyond grateful that you did. Thank you Don, and Jim and the nieces and nephews! Thank you to my awesome McCoy family! Each of you has my loyalty and my love! Family first from now on.
So, in closing this exciting and honorable chapter in my life, an opportunity has occurred. Time. I will use it wisely, getting my degree, expanding some artwork, cooking fabulous meals, our house will be clean! I will find places to volunteer, continue some community work, visit families, reconnect with the land daddy gave me, garden, welcome baby girl Emmaline, advocate for children, and take a vocal stand against animal cruelty! You know me, I am always going to a rebel with a cause. As for Council, if I see and believe something being done isn’t in our best interest, you can bet that I will drive to the Council House and raise the roof off of it because that is my responsibility as a member of this Tribe!
I am not saying goodbye by a long shot, I am just going home. The greatest honor of my life, is waking up every morning a member of our Tribe, being a wife, mom, grandmother, sister aunt and in-law. And, because of you Big Cove, a council member who never forgot who she was, and who she represented, or where she comes from. Because of you. God Bless Big Cove and the Eastern Band of Cherokee! Thank you forever! Proud of my community, your friend, Teresa.
And, for the last time, allow me to sign off the same way I have for 20 years…
Big Cove Community Council Representative