Monday, June 29

The sun never sets on KD sisterhood

Just recently I attended a weekend retreat with sisters of the Delta Eta chapter of Kappa Delta. There were some "old" sisters I remembered and some sisters who pledged after I had graduated from USF.

I was there at the behest and encouragement of my sorority little sister, and I went with some reservations about how well I would fit in. After all, I never married and I have no children. I have found that when I am with women around my age, the conversation inevitably focuses on family, children, and grandchildren so I can only listen as I have nothing to contribute. But I also take my camera because, if nothing else, I can take pictures.

Several of the sisters have been far more involved with and connected to the sorority post-graduation. In fact, to be honest, I scarcely glance at the sorority magazine when it comes to my house. There is an alumnae group of KDs in my area and I have made half-hearted attempts to get together with them, but my reluctance is informed by the same sense of a lack of true connection. My interests, passions, and lifestyle (never married, no children; I'm sure there's an acronym for that) just don't ever seem to align with most of the women.

But, that's not the point. And I was reminded of that this weekend when I gathered with these women, these sisters, for a weekend with the theme "The sun never sets on KD sisterhood." Did I spend a lot of time just listening? Yes. But I also remembered the songs we sang which are the songs they still sing. I remembered the difference my "class" made when we made a tiny inroad into diversity history, and I'm pleased to see that trend continues.

More importantly, because of the sisterhood, we instantly shared something. When I was in college, that was all rhetoric. I was too young to think about lifetime relationships. But now, nearly 40 (!!!!) years later, I truly understand the power of lifetime relationships.

I have been fairly close to my sorority little sister over the years, but lost touch with many of those in her pledge class. Memories flooded back when I saw again the faces of Barbara, Karen, Denise, and Angie. More memories were dredged up as we "remembered when" and recalled not only times but names. Synapses struggled to reconnect but did so, perhaps falteringly at times, as the younger sisters sang songs that have not passed my vocal cords in decades.

By Friday night not only had I reconnected with women who were precious to me, but I made connections with women who have become more significant for me. There were no strangers, only unfamiliar faces and names. I am so delighted to have reconnected with that pledge class and to see the women they have become and are. I am equally delighted to have met new sisters and to have begun to form relationships that may deepen into friendships.

In life, not all of us have siblings or strong and deep relationships with our siblings. That's not what KD sisterhood is about, and I had forgotten that. On the USF Kappa Delta web site, the reasons for being a part of the KD sisterhood are simple. "Members encourage each other to be their best selves and hold each other accountable. Best of all, the Kappa Delta experience allows members to meet and learn from others with different backgrounds and interests."

So much of the Kappa Delta tradition reinforces that and this weekend retreat reminded me that not only does the sun never set on KD sisterhood, but reinforced the truth of AOT.

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