Deryl's Story

A Big Brother Story

Growing up I was often curious about BBBS, but when I considered it I always assumed I wouldn’t have anything to offer. When I found out that a friend of mine, who was younger than I, was involved in BBBS I thought “If he can do it, why can’t I?” but still I put it off always saying “I’m too busy”. When I eventually came to my senses and contacted BBBS to go through the screening process I was struck by how much the people that worked there cared about what they were doing. I didn’t really understand then. I do now.

I was matched to a little brother - 11 or 12 years old. They gave me a little bit about his background; he had taken some guitar lessons, which was good as I am a musician. Our first meeting - I panicked - I had no idea what we’d do. I wasn’t very good at entertaining kids. I think we sat in my living room and just talked. I showed him my electric bass and acoustic guitar. He strummed all strings wide open and made up songs. Cool. But still overall I thought I bored him – he talked more than I did, I didn’t know what to say.

Several months later things changed in my life and I was off to Toronto to live for a while, so in the end it made sense to close the match - hoping of course he’d be paired with someone else. I left feeling glad that I was paired with my little brother but always had the feeling that I could have done more. Sadly I had lost touch with my little brother over the years - realizing I had missed his junior high and high school graduations. But then via email and then Facebook we reconnected after a few years.

He plays guitar now. Cool. He's in school doing a music related program. Cool. I told him that I had been asked by to write about my experience and I asked him if he thought I could/should write something about being a big brother and he said "Definitely! You were a huge influence, remember how we came to the conclusion one day that music was anecessity in life- not a want, and how there's no way the world could function without it? And the day I first played your bass, I knew that music was something I would love to get involved with. Definitely a big part of why I do what I do".
I was speechless.

You just never know when things which may seem insignificant can have a big impact on someone.

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