So Election Day has come and gone, and I am not a new councillor at the table in Ward 1. And I am totally okay with that. I have always been a firm believer that everything turns out the way it does for a reason. I am just not suppose to be on council, so I will continue volunteering and working in the community that I love doing other things. But I know that I will still be watching every council meeting and talking about what is going on, that won't change.
The best way I can describe the last few weeks is like this, I feel like I got to attend my own funeral. For the last few weeks I have heard from friends I have not heard from in 20 years. I heard from old neighbours from when I was growing up in Mabou Harbour. I have heard from high school teachers, and my community of Fort McMurray cheered me on. My neighbours all asked for signs and told people to vote for me. People that I have worked with in Fort McMurray told me that they believed in me, and friends that I knew were friends all along told me they loved me and were proud of me. And my family, they door knocked, babysat, cheered, and stood with me through the whole experience.
On the first day of the campaign a wise man said, "Verna, at the end of the day when all is said and done, you will go home to your family, and that's all that really matters." And he was right. Tim has stood beside me for the last 20 years, and last night he stood in the kitchen and gave me a new beautiful book bag. He said that if I won, I could use it for council, and if I lost, then it's a sign I am suppose to be finishing up my book. And my three kids shed a tear or two and told me they were proud of me. How could I possibly ask for anything more than all this?
Tim and I have been through sickness, accidents, the loss of babies, the birth of babies, elections, moves, and we always manage to stay positive. This is just another part of the journey. In the last year I have won a Woman of Inspiration Award, a Gold Star Award for Media/Communications, had my first work published in a book, seen my kids grow older, and have been told by my husband almost every day that he loves me. I have grown a circle of friends that are the most loyal, wonderful bunch that you will ever meet in your life. I know that they have my back, and would never say a disparaging word against me. So in other words, I am truly blessed.
In the last few weeks, that circle of friends has grown. Some of the people that I admire the most in Fort McMurray have said they supported me, or believed in me. This has all made the loss just another great adventure in my life. I would not trade it or the people I have met for anything.
I do feel like I have let some people down, the ones that really wanted me to win and believed in me. But the only time I got a little upset last night was at the end of the evening, when I was standing alone with Tim, and I admitted that I felt like I had let the seniors in Fort McMurray down. In the last few years I have gotten to know many of our seniors, and they supported me through this campaign. And I hope that they know that I will continue to write and talk about their issues as well as all the other issues in Fort McMurray.
So thank you to everyone who supported me, in whatever form it was, I will never be able to say how much I appreciated it all. Every kind word will never be forgotten. And you know, there were even a few that I thought were friends that revealed that they did not believe in me, and even that is good. It's better to have true friends than someone who has an agenda. Those who know me, know that I just wanted to have a hand in making our community a better place to live, and I wanted to run a campaign that my kids could say they were proud to be a part of. I stayed true to my own voice, and I am happy with that today.
Best of luck to Colleen Tatum who won last night. With the downturn in the economy lately, council will have to make some hard decisions in the coming months and we need them to continue to be leaders and guide us through. Colleen was the voter's choice and I am sure she will take the position seriously, as she wouldn't have been running otherwise.
I will continue doing what I have always done, I will be part of my community and will continue working to help where and when I can. Thanks again!