Teri Netterville became a local sweetheart by simply, being Teri. She won the hearts of many by sharing her experiences on Facebook. There is something about her perspective, humor, and “life-lessons” that will draw you in and keep you wanting to know more about her.
One thing that we do know about Teri: she has an uncanny way with words. As a child, she remembers sending a letter to her grandmother, followed by her grandmother’s response that Teri’s letter “made her feel like they had just had a good visit from across the breakfast table.” Teri said her grandmother’s words “fed her soul.” In 2015 her Facebook post became so popular that her family and friends began encouraging her to publish a book filled with her always entertaining Facebook post. It was not until her daughter, Summer, requested her mother’s writings in a book as a Christmas gift that Teri began to seriously consider publishing her own book. She gives credit to her cousin Robyn for “taking the bull by the horns” and selfpublishing When I Am Dead and In my Coffin, Somebody Better Love Me Enough to Tweeze My Chin in one week. Her book is a perfect depiction of Teri and the type of person she is. It will make you laugh, cry, make you look at things with a little more humor and positivity.
Teri was born in Ruston, the second of four children. She spent most of her childhood in Shreveport until moving to Madison, Mississippi the Summer before seventh grade. It can be tough for a girl her age to move to a new state. Teri said “I vividly remember, dramatically looking at the “Welcome to Mississippi” sign and saying under my breath “Don’t worry, Louisiana, I’ll be back”.” She spent her high school years in Arlington, Texas, where much of her family remains. After seventeen years, the promise that she had made to Louisiana as a seventh grade girl was fulfilled. She and her husband Kevin moved back to Shreveport. She recalls being seven months pregnant with her first child, crossing back over the Louisiana state line and saying out loud “Told ya so Louisiana”. Kevin smiled remembering the promise she had made. They were happy to be home.
If you are lucky enough to know Teri, or know of Teri, you know that her smile will knock your socks off, but her kind and hilarious spirit is her greatest asset. Teri will often acknowledge that her infectious lust for life comes from her late father, Tommy Spinks. She is proud to have been a “daddy’s girl,” and gives him credit for her love of people, all people. Teri said “My father had, undoubtedly, the greatest influence on my life when it came to living my life with a purpose and a positive attitude. It was by his example that I learned how to treat people, and it was by watching him and his relationships that I realized what I wanted to mean to people. Dad had such a genuine love for people and they felt it.” Teri, like each of us, has had to endure all of the challenges that life can bring- the good, the bad and the ugly. Losing her father was without doubt, her most heart wrenching experience. Yet, she believes that sometimes life brings unexpected challenges and those can, at times, be the hardest. She explains
“It’s kind of like this: If you aren’t aware that a storm is brewing, then you don’t have time to take cover, so when it hits, it’s as if the very foundation you are standing on is being lifted off of the ground and you feel as though you are being thrown around like a rag doll. During this hard part, all you can do is hold on for dear life and wait for the storm to subside or pass altogether. And the good news is that it will… God equips us to handle all of it.” Teri exudes a faith that can weather any storm and she takes genuine pleasure in the “little things”. She loves nothing more than sitting in the bleachers, watching one of her three children: Steele, Summer, and Slade playing the sports they love to play. Her children adore their mother as she does them. She, like any mother, hopes and prays for the happiness and success of her kiddos. Above all the hopes and dreams that she holds for them, the one thing that she reminds them most often- “Be good to people. It really is that simple. Just freakin’ be good to people. It cost nothing, but means everything.”
We can all take a page out of Teri’s book, literally. Keep things in perspective, try to find the good in everyone and in every situation. At times life may be tough, but in that case, find the humor, be grateful for the little things. Take it all in and make the best of “the imperfect, but glorious world, ” we are living in. As Teri will say “Here’s to life-lessons… May they never end.”