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Bernadette's Journey

stories_bernadette_90px "I am Bernadette, I am 14 years old and I am going into grade 9 at RE Mountain Secondary School. I have been brought here tonight to talk to you about my experience with Big Sisters and the life adventures that brought me to them.

To start this story of we have to go back 6 years. To a small town called Wolesley in the middle of Saskatchewan. It is July 2 my mother’s birthday, which is the day before my birthday. I am at my friend Amber’s house and her mom comes out to the yard to tell me that my mom has just died of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer. At the time I am 7 years old (turning 8 the next day). Imagine how I would have handled this? I just stood there with shock in my eyes until I just fell down and started crying. Even though I had been kind of expecting this. She had been sick for a long time but I had always thought she would get better. But she didn’t. In the years to come my friends started to abandon me as grief slowly drove me to be a person I didn’t want to be but didn’t know how to fight. After 2 years of therapy Dad thought a change of people and scenery would be good. So we pick up the pieces of our lives and moved back to our roots in British Columbia. So now we live in Langley.

After about 3 months of thinking Dad decided I need a female role model in my life. With all the teasing that I got at school I thought it could be a good distraction. Let’s just say I only had 3 friends and they were in a different class...My first Big Sister [was] Rita Stel. I thought she was so cool. Rita had a house near White Rock beach. She taught me to oil paint. It was great. But after about 1 year she got a promotion and had to move to Calgary. But Ce Le Vie, life goes on.

Then about a year ago I got matched up with my current Big Sister Kina. She is such an inspiration to me. There is just something special and I know I have made a really good friend in her. She may be older than me but I couldn’t care less. Big Sisters has helped me get over the traumatic death of my mother by providing me with great role models and people I can talk to. I wouldn’t have the confidence to come up here today and talk to you if it wasn’t for them. And last summer they even sent me to a Tim Horton’s camp in Ontario, where I learned how to sing O Canada in French.Which is funny because I don’t normally like French any way.

I’m just beginning to deal with the anger and pain of my mom’s death. I’m slowly bringing down the stone wall that kept me from ever being as close to anyone else as I had been with my mother. My life now is better than ever. The things and people that have helped me recover are like little gears in a clock and Big Sisters was a very big gear. But also my family and friends are pretty big gears themselves. And that brings you up to date with my life adventures."

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