The Weekly Smile

In 2004 I volunteered in a “Big Sister”/Mentoring program. I was paired up with a young girl who had a troubled home life and needed some time away from it once a week after school for a few hours. This young girl was 10 or 11 at the time, and we would go out to eat and talk, or go shopping and then out to eat. Sometimes we went to the library and did homework, but she was not a child who needed help with it really, she was very bright. It always amazed me how she was able to rise above the dysfunction of her home. There were 6 kids in the family and a mother who couldn’t really handle it, a father rarely home, the house was a mess, no order whatsoever. The older kids seemed to be keeping things running. Her age belied her maturity- she was introspective about the home situation and accepting of it, her intelligence allowing her to see the bigger picture and make sense of it all. I stayed in the role of “big sister” for about 4 years until she was a teenager and busy with school and going out and her friends. I have not thought of her in years, actually forgetting about this volunteering of  so long ago-that had ended in 2007 or 2008 – until today.

I took in the mail to find a wedding invitation with a return address name I did not immediately recognize. I opened the invitation to find the young girl I had mentored was getting married- and had invited me. Yes this is my weekly smile, but in truth it made me cry. I was touched and so surprised that she had not only remembered me but had taken the time to send me an invitation. We never know the impact we may leave on someone, the difference we may make. This was for me a reminder.

The front of the invitation-the Hebrew initials of their names form the rose20161215_155938

23 thoughts on “The Weekly Smile

  1. It was a very special role you played in this young woman’s growing up years, Lisa. It meant enough to her to contact you and invite you and your husband to her wedding.
    This is like a reminder to us all what we may do to help nurture and mentor a younger person, making a difference like you did! 🙂

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  2. Sometimes the best smiles bring tears. That’s okay. They’re still smiles. I think this is a wonderful one and you are right, we never know how we touch people or which people we touch! And it is great to get this kind of pay back for volunteering.

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  3. This is so beautiful and as I read more from you and get to know you better, I am not at all surprised. You are amazing and the people you cross paths with are truly blessed. Thanks for sharing (and for planting a seed for me in my unwanted, very barren retirement!!)

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    • Thank you for such kind words-I have to say there is nothing more rewarding than volunteering and helping people if you are able to do it. I stopped working and was a “professional volunteer” for 8 years- I filled my days doing a variety of volunteer things and it was life changing. I highly recommend it 🙂

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  4. that is great that she still remembered her big sister… and I wish her all the best for her life. and maybe once she can be the big sister for a girl who needs a sister and a friend…

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  5. Lovely story. I think we have more impact on lives than we know because people often don’t get back to us … often, I think, because they simply lose track of us. it is lovely when you do renew that connection 🙂

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  6. Wow..what a great story and even a better compliment to you, Lisa. You must have made quite an impression on her young life for her to think of you this way so many years later.
    So are you going to go?…:)

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    • I emailed the man who runs the organization to tell him, I wanted him to know his program makes a difference. I literally forgot about that time- so many years ago- so many things in between- amazing.

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  7. Glad the young lady overcame the troubles Lisa, how wonderful you must feel knowing you had a big hand in her young life! May they marry forever ❤️

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