My Sister – written by Mentoring Coordinator, Madeline Van Hemert
Every Big Sister match is special and has elements that are unique to them. The Big Sister match for Danielle and Gwen was that and so much more. Having been matched well over a year, their bond truly grew deep. Like most relationships, theirs took time. The first few months consisted of simply getting to know each other by asking a lot of questions as well as bonding over their shared interests of crafting and eating. Their favourite things to do together were Skyzone, hiking at the Gorge, pottery at the Painted Turtle, attending BBBS events and hanging out.
From there, Danielle and Gwen began to not only become closer friends, but sisters as well. Over time, Danielle inspired Gwen to become obsessed with the Harry Potter series as well as eating Pho. In just over a year, Gwen has seen each Harry Potter movie and is currently reading book #5. Pho is a whole other story. Gwen was sincere in saying that Pho will always be her and Danielle’s ‘thing’. Each and every experience they shared, they documented in a beautiful scrapbook that they started early on. Page after page, this scrapbook holds the memories of each match visit including not just photos, but wrist bands, ticket stubs and even the description of Gwen that Danielle received when going through the matching process.
Much good has come from this relationship for both Danielle and Gwen. For Danielle, she was unsure of what to expect from the program but found that she got more than just a friend. She now has a little sister. Danielle said that people would even ask if they were sisters when they were out together. For Gwen, her takeaways were that Danielle became someone the she trusted, could always laugh with and someone that would always listen. Gwen’s mom found that this relationship gave Gwen the courage to come out of her shell, have more confidence and a friendship that was not hard or filled with drama. Everyone agreed that this was “a perfect match.”
As Danielle has needed to move home to Ottawa, she will be deeply missed. Endings aren’t always easy. Saying goodbye is hard. Luckily for these two, this is simply ‘see you later’. Because of the distance, this match has formally closed. However, because of the sisterhood, this friendship will go on. Gwen and her mom hope to make a trip to Ottawa as neither have been. The incentive now, is that Danielle will be their personal tour guide!
Danielle and Gwen had their final goodbyes at the BBBS office. It was an emotional moment where they shared their scrapbook, talked of their favourite memories, took some photos, and said goodbye with a big hug. They were both proud of themselves for not crying, although they knew without a doubt that the tears would come on their way home.