At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Little Sister, My Friend


I first met my Little Sister, Lindsay, in 2002, when she was twelve years old. I was a single, thirty-one-year-old woman living in my condo in Mississauga, Ontario. I wanted something special in my life, the chance to “give back” and make a difference. I reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississauga after seeing an advertisement by the side of the road. That decision changed my life.

At the time that I met Lindsay, she was very shy and introverted. For the first six to eight months, she barely spoke. When I asked her questions, her responses were brief, and she rarely voiced her opinion. Over time, though, and with the support of her mother and Big Brothers Big Sisters, we bonded and created a solid friendship of mutual trust and acceptance. We spent every weekend together baking treats, eating fresh popcorn at the movies, window shopping at the mall, playing games at my kitchen table, rollerblading along the Mississauga lakeshore, sharing meals, and generally having fun. We were extremely thankful for the tickets generously provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters to the Toronto Raptors and Bon Jovi.

I proudly watched Lindsay grow and bloom into a wise, independent, and beautiful young woman who was social, vocal, and made her own decisions. With the encouragement of her mother, Lindsay became a cheerleader in high school and continued to expand her social circle and experience. Even after graduating, she returned to coach some of her younger peers.

Even though our time at Big Brothers Big Sisters ended when she was eighteen, our friendship did not. In 2008, aside from my matron of honour, Lindsay was the only bridesmaid in my wedding. I was extremely honoured to have her by my side that day. After all, she had been a tremendous presence in my life. In the years since then, we’ve continued to text each other and hang out when our busy lives allow it. I still fondly remember the day she held my newborn son in her arms for the first time. This past summer, Lindsay, her boyfriend and her mother attended almost all of my son’s soccer games. My three-year-old son smiles happily on the days Lindsay stops by for a visit or to babysit.

Lindsay was my Little Sister for five years, but she’s truly a remarkable young woman, friend, and part of my family. I’m so glad I made the decision to call Big Brothers Big Sisters. Thank you!

Tracey

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