Teresa Lackey: Daily Doses of Courage

by | Jun 2024

IN A world where endless worries can sometimes press in from every side, it’s comforting to lean into the encouragement of a dear friend — or even a stranger on Facebook. To dozens of people across the nation, Teresa Lackey is the rock they can count on. Her daily doses of courage help place their feet back on solid ground when the cares of life have left them trembling.

Teresa is an overcomer — a poised fighter — a devoted wife who has stood by her husband, Ronnie, for the last 47 years. She’s a grandmother and great-grandmother who is doing everything in her power to make the world a better place for those she holds closely. The roller coaster of trials in her own life has created this insatiable drive in Teresa. She understands the sleepless nights, the heartbreak, and the fear that comes with the unknowns. But she’s emerged on the other side with a longing to help others face whatever comes their way, knowing they are never alone.

On a chilly February day in 1995, Teresa’s life changed drastically when her husband, who is an Army veteran, suffered a brain aneurysm at the age of 43. Although he physically survived, the man she fell in love with when she was just a girl of 15 — the father of her two children — was forever changed. Since she was a little girl, Teresa had dreamed of staying home and being a full-time wife and mother, and up until this time, that dream had been fulfilled. With her husband now unable to work, Teresa decided she would earn her GED diploma and support their family. For the last 20 years, she has worked for STAR Physical Therapy as a patient care coordinator.

“I earned my GED in 1995, the same year our daughter graduated high school,” said Teresa. “I was told it would take me at least six months of studying to be able to take the test because I had been out of school for so long. But in six short weeks, the instructor told me I was ready to take the test. It was another two weeks before the test was offered. I took it and passed. Then, I completed an Office Management class so I would be able to support our family.” 

Over the years, the Lackeys have also faced Ronnie’s diagnosis of colon cancer and his ongoing fight with COPD, but Teresa made up her mind to stay positive and help others do the same.

“I met a lady on Facebook through my niece, and we became friends. The more I talked to her, the more I liked her. One morning, I decided I was going to send her a picture that said, ‘Good Morning,’ and that’s how it all got started. I just wanted her to know I was thinking about her and that she was a dear friend of mine. Then I started sending it to another friend and another friend, and it just kept growing.”

Teresa’s daily snippets of encouragement have grown from that one friend to close to 50 men and women spanning eight different states. Sometimes, she forwards inspirational quotes, and sometimes, she sends GIFs, but either way, she’s reaching out and letting others know they are valued, important, and cared for.

“If you stay positive and work hard, you can achieve your dreams,” said Teresa. “Today I sent out: ‘Stay positive even when it feels like everything is falling apart’ and ‘The day will be what you make of it. So rise, like the sun.’ My friend replied to me, ‘Oh my. I just love these. Thank you for sending them to me. They just brighten my day. Love you. Have a blessed and wonderful day, too.’” 

Another friend replied to Teresa’s positive message: “You give me things to lighten my day when I’m overwhelmed with everything I’m going through. Depression and anxiety are the worst, and you get me through it. I appreciate you so much, my friend!” 

Teresa would like to inspire everyone reading this with these words: “In case no one has told you today — you’re beautiful, you’re loved, you’re needed. You are alive for a reason. You’re truly amazing! Never give up. When you are having a bad day, just ask God to let tomorrow be better. Take one minute, one day at a time, and you can get through some of the hardest times ever.” GN 

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