By Trish Quan
I met my Big Sister, Joyanne, when I was twelve years old. I lived with my mom, my younger sister, and my brother. Although there was little money to pay for out-of-school activities, my mom was very resourceful. In the spring of 1983, she approached me with the idea of becoming a Little Sister. At first I didn’t like the idea. I was confident that I didn’t need any special attention. I was the big sister, after all.
Despite my misgivings, I decided to give it a try. I liked Joyanne right away. Our first outing was a trip to buy the ingredients to make pizza. Joyanne always let me take the lead and decide the flow of our day. She made a point of asking me what I liked to do. We have had many excellent adventures, such as kayaking, hiking, sailing, seeing plays, watching movies, shopping, and trips to Seattle and Victoria. I am often reminded of a quote from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Joyanne made me feel special.
As a Big Sister, Joyanne embodied qualities that are so important for young women. I was the first one in my family to graduate high school and continue on to post-secondary education. Joyanne helped me see the possibilities if I stayed in school.
In October 1991, at the age of forty, my mom was killed in a car accident. Joyanne, just days away from delivering her second child, stood by me in those darkest days. My mom kept me grounded. When she died, I lost my compass and began to flounder. Joyanne’s care and mentorship got me through it. My mother’s death has changed me indescribably, but I’m a big believer in resilience. I was able to continue my life in the face of so much pain, but without Joyanne’s support, it would have been a much more difficult task.
The foundation of friendship Joyanne and I built through Big Sisters is the foundation I stand upon as a grown woman. My Big Sister is a key person in my life. I look up to her, want to learn from her, and continue to hope and dream with her.
Ours is a tale of twenty-nine years of friendship and counting.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Twenty-Nine Years of Friendship and Counting
Posted by Unknown at 9:35 AM