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After more than six months of getting to know each other and spending afternoons biking, playing hockey and watching movies, my Little Sister told me Monday, Sept. 12, she is moving at the beginning of October.

I’m happy for her and her family, and she appears to be excited about the move — teenagers always want something new and different — but I’m saddened we’ll lose the bond we built and began to expand upon.

When I signed up to be a part of Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters last winter, I never anticipated I would enjoy the time I dedicated to the program as much as I did.

I remember telling the counselor who interviewed me it wasn’t about me —I didn’t volunteer for personal gain.

My sole purpose was to offer a little support and guidance to a young girl who may be looking for it.

My Little and the experiences we shared exceeded my expectations, and I’m sad to see her go.

We easily found common ground. She’s a bit of a tomboy, and I was too growing up. We’d rather be outside biking, skating or running than participating in activities deemed “normal” for a girl.

We found many similarities between the two of us, down to our sandwich choice, and each time my Little pointed one out, I felt the bond grow stronger.

In the few months we spent together we learned to get along and trust each, and we became friends.

She loved my dogs, and my husband joined in our fun on occasion teaching my Little how to in-line skate and a few new chords on the guitar.

We spent many afternoons engaged in good old-fashioned fun, but other times we focused our attention in more serious ways and she seemed to respond. We picked apricots from my yard, and I taught her how to make jam. I helped her with her algebra homework dusting off some of my old skills. We talked about her future, attending college and what she needs to do to get there.

Now, in less than a month, we’ll be separated by nearly the entire continent. We’ve already talked about keeping in touch, and I hope we actually do exchange emails or letters.

When my Little leaves, I’ve decided I need to take a break before I’m ready for a new one. My Little became more than a volunteer project. She became my friend.

Eventually, I’ll be ready to try again, but it will be hard, if not impossible, to build another bond similar to what I share now with my Little. I was very lucky to find what Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters called “a very good match,” and I hope my Little took as much away from the experience as I did.

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  • Beverly Copen

    Your editorial on Big Brothers/Sisters was wonderful. Great experience and opportunities for so many. We also were BIGS for a while, and will do so again one day in the future.<br />Beverly Copen

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