Yesterday was a very bittersweet day for me. After 20 months of a great experience, my match with my Little Sister came to an end. Shortly after my 18th birthday I signed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois to be a Big Sister. I had heard about the program through a local news report and new it would be a great opportunity for me. Finally, after over a year of waiting, I was matched up with Dani.
The past 20 months have been a huge learning experience for me. My eyes were opened to a whole different culture than the one I am use to. Even though my Little Sister lives in the Highland area (which is generally considered rather culturally homogeneous), her home culture is radically different from my own. It was enlightening, and often saddening, to share with her in some of the situations that occurred in her home. I can't go into those circumstances for confidentiality purposes, but it will suffice to say they were not ideal situations.
Sadly, the times Dani and I were able to spend together grew very few and far between over the past few months. School and other commitments were creating difficulties in arranging meetings. I knew that I was no longer able to provide the support and relationship that Dani needs from a Big Sister, which led me to close the match. This will allow the case workers at Big Brothers Big Sisters to find a new Big Sister for Dani who will hopefully have more time to commit to the relationship. This was a hard decision for me to make, but I feel like it is the best for both of us.
I will never forget some of the experiences we enjoyed together throughout our relationship. Some of the most memorable include baking cookies together, watching movies, going to Raging Rivers, and visiting the zoo. Dani and her family made a lasting impression on my life. I pray that the Lord might continue to bless her and her family and that she might be able to remember the good experiences we shared.
As we were doing the paperwork to close the match yesterday, Dani was asked what she liked about being a Little Sister and her reply was, "It was the best time of my life!" This was great to hear, but also made me realize that I really will miss being her Big Sister.