Optimistic. Hilarious. Passionate. Fierce.
These are just a few words Alliance members used to describe and memorialize Vickie Terry, a community leader and mountain protector who graciously shared her sunshine with so many of us.
The picture above is during an Alliance-hosted Week in Washington, which Vickie attended several times over the years to share her story and experiences of living in a community ravaged by mountaintop removal coal mining. Vickie found her fight and her voice through community organizing, and along the way she inspired others to do the same.
Vickie made sure that her family and friends were always smiling. Even though her year-long battle with lung cancer, she loved and lived every moment she was given and inspired the rest of us to do the same. We are heartbroken to say goodbye, so instead, we’ll say see you later, Vickie, on another plane, in another life just as sweet.
A celebration of life that will take place when the weather warms up on Rose Ridge Retreat. Gifts can be sent to Vickie’s daughter April at https://www.paypal.me/AprilJarocki.
Through her hard work, Rose Ridge Retreat came to life as an outdoor living-learning classroom to raise awareness of sustainable living practices in Clairfield, TN. The retreat has an outdoor kitchen, space for camping, and hosts workshops on gardening, food preservation, and home site planning. Vickie started building a sustainable and diverse environment and economy right in her own backyard; her leadership is a testament to what we envision for our communities across the region.
While we remember our keepers of the mountains, Vickie and Carol and Larry and Judy and Dianne and so many other movement leaders with endless love, we are hurt and we are outraged. We are tired of saying goodbye to our loved ones far before their work is done, long before they deserve to die. We know the ills of mountaintop removal and the impacts of extractive industries on our health. These mountain leaders have paid the ultimate price, and we owe it to them to continue speaking the truth and fighting for the futures we believe in.
If she touched your life, or if you feel called to show your support, please consider donating to Vickie’s memorial fund, which will help her family move through this transition.
*Please share this post far and wide in memory of our Vickie. Feel free to add your comments below if you would like to share your memories or thoughts about this fierce mountain mama.