A copy of this letter was shared with us recently and we think it’s a great example of the impact a mentor has on the life of a child. Enjoy.
“I am the mother of your son’s Little Brother. Over the past couple months, I have found myself thinking often about you; despite never having met you. I wanted to share with you the impact your son has had on our lives over this past year. Mother-to-Mother. From the time I applied to Big Brothers/Big Sisters for a match, to the day they called was a little over 3 years. We were so excited to be selected, but had no idea what was in store for us. I anticipated our match would be a young man in University who required volunteer hours to help pad his resume. —-a form of “sentence” insisted on by the University of Alberta J. Rather we met Jeremy. His outgoing and bright personality made it easy to welcome him into our lives! His sincerity and down to earth attitude is so easy for a little person to relate to.
Jeremy walked into Simon’s life at the perfect time. Life had been increasingly stressful for me and Simon, and we were not dealing with it well. It pains me to have him engulfed in a world of anxiety. Following a layoff, we ended up losing our home, most belongings and relocated to a small apartment. Being uprooted from his school, community, pets and all familiarity was very difficult. Having Jeremy’s visits to look forward to was a little ray of happiness amongst turmoil. When Simon would complain about the path our life was on he would say, “at least I have a brother”.
Simon is so proud to be seen with and talk about Jeremy. I know many people believe he has a biological brother as Simon talks of him as a true brother and member of the family. I see them trying to mentally calculate how old I must have been to have a 28 year old! J Jeremy has always made Simon’s visits a priority and he is on time and eager to see him. Simon now has a man to look up to and aspire to be like. He is so over the moon when he returns from an outing, that he cannot stop talking and re-enacting every moment. He then starts thinking about the next time they will be together.
I know being a mother is a very difficult job. The moment we give birth we are so hopeful our babies will have good lives and become good people. Advice seems to come at us new moms from all angles, but nothing all that useful. Criticism flows even more fierce towards us as we try to simply stay afloat on this adventure. No manuals, just instinct. If Simon becomes half the man Jeremy has I will be so overjoyed. I can’t imagine how very proud you are of him. For a man at his age who is trying to get his career set, new home owner, member of several sport teams and a good friend finding the time to share with a little boy is awesome. Jeremy often shrugs it off when I say how much his mentorship means to us—I look forward to the day when Jeremy has a child of his own and realizes just how much this commitment has on a boy like Simon …and a frazzled/concerned mom like me! Only then will he see that people rarely take a genuine interest in your children and often even less when there has been sadness around the situation.
Simon often says the most interesting things about Jeremy… I thought I would share some with you:
“Jeremy is always happy to spend time with me.”
“Jeremy would never let anyone make fun of me.”
“Jeremy is so successful! I hope I am like him some day.”
“I love Jeremy’s clothes!”
“Jeremy is good at every sport!”
“Jeremy is always the friendliest guy on our outings. He talks to everyone! He is like the opposite of daddy.”
“Jeremy is like my guardian angel.”
“I know I am safe when I am with Jeremy.”
“I wonder how I got the best big brother in Edmonton!”
I just really wanted to express my sincerest thank you to you for raising such a fine man. Please see all your efforts as well worth it as you certainly did something right!”
Please note: The names of the individuals involved have been changed to protect their privacy. Although they gave permission to use their story and publish this letter, they are humble folks and prefer not to receive credit for what they feel is a real and lasting friendship between good people.