2016 · Blogging · Writing

Our Sisterhood is Real to Us

Being a sorority woman isn’t what you think it is.  Sorority women choose to be sisters.  We overcome obstacles of class, race, and education to be together.  We are not perfect by any means.  Our organizations have flaws, every institution does, but we continue on despite hiccups and errors.  My sisters are the family I chose for myself and I love each of them dearly in my own way.

This past summer I was graced with the opportunity to attend an International Convention for my fraternity and there I found myself in the company of over 800 women who share the same values and experiences as me.  It was a beautiful experience.  Being around that many accomplished, intelligent, and compassionate women is an experience that can only be understood through feelings – words cannot do it justice.  At that Convention I felt loved. I was (and I still am) wholly and utterly loved by my sisters.  However, my intention is not to flaunt my sisterhood – some people take part in Greek life and others do not – it was the right choice for me but it is not for everyone.  I simply wanted to create an image of sorority life before proceeding to the more difficult topic of this piece.  Over the past two weeks my fraternity has lost two sisters – young women in their prime.  I did not know Olivia or Carli, from Alpha and Nu Beta chapter respectively, but I know Alpha Omicron Pi and by virtue of that I know what type of women they were before their passing.  They shone with an inner light of sisterhood and joy.  They were not perfect but they loved their chapters, their local sisters, and their international sisters too.  They were beautiful inside and out.  My heart goes out to the families of both sisters.  My thoughts and prayers are also with the sisters of the chapters (active and alumnae) affected by Olivia and Carli’s passings.  ALAM to all of you.

To those of you who still do not understand the purpose of this post I wanted to let you in on the worst kept secret of all sororities – we are not the stereotype. Just because some of us are blonde, like pink, or drink Starbucks that does not stop us from being wonderful, caring, nerdy, goofy, and loving people.  Our sisters are not just friends that keep from being alone for four years of college or university – my sisters are for life.  Being a sorority woman isn’t what you think it is – it means you cheer when a sister you’ve never met wins a scholarship, you clap when a sister who went on exchange last year comes home, and you hurt when a sister leaves this world before you ever have the chance to meet her.

When I heard about Olivia’s death I remember my heart beating a little bit too fast and my knee jerk reaction was to check on the sisters from Alpha chapter that I know.  They are doing as well as can be expected.  I’ve tacked them onto my daily prayer list. Yesterday when I saw AOII HQ’s post about Carli my heart felt like it had stopped.  A woman I greatly admire and care for is a Nu Beta alumna, and upon reading that announcement my thoughts immediately went to her.  I may not have known either young woman.  I will not be able to attend their memorials, nor do I have stories to tell about them.  I do not know what their favourite colours were or their favourite flavours of ice cream and that pains me.  I may not be mourning them like their Bigs or Littles are but I am mourning them like a sister.  Our sisterhood is real to us no matter what anyone else says.

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