Match of 8 years goes the distance
“I never anticipated exactly how much fun I would have with Vic,” recalls Big Brother Brandon. Brandon met Victor over eight years ago and wasn’t sure the match would work out for both of them.
“He (Victor) was a tiny guy then, and seemingly all limbs and curly hair, at that. He was rambunctious, easily excited, and extremely inquisitive about the world around him, in his own unique way. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first that I would be able to keep up with him. It actually took me two visits with him before I was able to convince myself that we could be a good match,” Brandon said.
The match was a good one, however, and the chemistry between the new friends was noticed by Victor’s family. “Victor is learning disabled, which brings challenges of its own to his life, and that disability made it difficult to find just the right Big Brother match for him. And then we met Brandon, a cool bachelor dude wearing cutoffs and sandals, sporting a barbell in his pierced ear!” said Victor’s aunt, Bonnie Lott.
Brandon has spent several outings every month with Victor over their eight-year relationship. “I get to see Brandon a lot. Sometimes we plan things to do, but other times we just hang out. He takes me fishing and to see movies, which I like very much,” said Little Brother Victor. Brandon has also helped Victor learn life-long skills which help Victor as he grows to be a better person for himself and his community. Since beginning his relationship with his Big, Victor has improved academically, he’s learned the value of hard work, and developed skills to deal with his feelings. Growth is a double-sided equation, and Brandon has done his share of growing over these past eight years.
“I’ve grown older, gotten married, and moved further away from him; it has sometimes seemed hard to continually make the effort, but I can honestly say that I have never regretted spending the hours of my day with him, even once,” said Brandon. He continued, “Eight years seems all at once very long, and no time at all. Now Victor isn’t such a little guy anymore, although truth to tell he’s still mostly limbs and hair. Perhaps one day one of us will move away, but he’s a part of my life now and I can’t imagine it any other way.”
Brandon’s connection with Victor as a mentor and friend has changed the course of a boy’s life. “During the term of this Big/Little pairing, Brandon changed jobs, met the right girl and fell in love, respectfully courted and married her, bought his first home, went back to college, and even adopted a dog that needed to be saved from abuse. Observing Brandon’s adaptation to all these life changes gave Victor a first-hand view of how to advance successfully through a young man’s life with excitement, grace, confidence, clarity and determination. I am so grateful Brandon has shared his life experiences with Victor,” said Bonnie Lott.
Perhaps Victor says it best when speaking of his friend when he says, “Brandon is a very good Big Brother to me.”