Dear Soror (Sister):
In 2008, I promised to be an active and engaged member of my sorority. I remember the feeling I had on that Easter Sunday morning. I was so proud to be joining an organization that so many inspirational women, both past and present, belong to. I along with my 71 line sisters were a special group of women, being initiated into this illustrious organization on its 100th birthday. What a special feeling! What an amazing group of young women. I took this oath alongside my new sisters; finally what my parents couldn’t give me, my new sorority did. I was the happiest I had been in a long time and the weeks that followed that day were like walking on cloud 9. Our sorority was finally back on the yard and for the first time in years, our yard was full; all organizations being represented with fresh, new members. Our line was tight and everyone was so close! We took so much pride in wearing our distinctive colors and our awesome letters! Life. Was. Good…..
And then life really happened…. And it kicked my tail.
I was so sure that this feeling would last a long time. I’d graduate from school, go to graduate school, start my career, get married, and have children, all while being super active in my sorority. My sorors and I would meet every year at homecoming, we’d call each other all the time, we’d go to each other’s weddings, and celebrate the births of our children. We’d truly be sisters.
But I forgot about that part. Life happened and for me it was the unexpected. When I graduated you see, I was still reeling from the death of my father and never made it to graduate school like you did. I moved to Atlanta with my boyfriend, believing that was the place I was meant to be and I did find a local chapter. I was so excited to join a new team; to further enhance the bonds that I had made at school…. But that didn’t happen. My job wasn’t the best for encouraging a work-life balance and I missed many meetings and events because I had to work. A year after graduating from college, that boyfriend I mentioned proposed marriage and we had a very quick engagement followed by a small wedding. Even with only 6 week’s notice, a few of you showed up to celebrate in our love and commitment. It meant so much to me that that sisterhood withstood last minute planning and for some, warranted a 7 and a half hour drive. Thank you.
And then I got pregnant. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be as active as I wanted to be waddling around a full-time job and learning how to be a full-time wife. I was going to be a mom and for the first time, that became even more important than being active in my sorority.
So I fell off… the face of the Earth it seems. The years after I had my son were a blur. I had two more children, moved 3 more times, took on 2 different jobs, and finally went back to school to complete a Master’s degree I started a year after I was initiated. I became a mom to a son with special needs and suddenly his therapy and appointment schedule became my world. I became a military spouse and suddenly my initiation into that world became everything. My life was inundated with acronyms for basic training, field training, moving to new duty stations, and even new names for the grocery store and health insurance. Suddenly, you became my last priority.
So I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I forgot your birthdays, anniversaries, and neglected to congratulate you when you got that major job promotion, bought your first house, or graduated with your Master’s, Law degree, Doctorate etc.
I’m sorry I haven’t been to a homecoming in years. For failing to meet our newest sisters and welcome them into our organization with open arms. I’m sorry I don’t even know who they are.
I’m sorry I haven’t been to a meeting, a conference, a Boule, or any sorority-sponsored event in years. I have failed to keep up with the most current events of our amazing organization which saddens me.
I’m sorry I have missed your weddings and the birth of your children. So many of you have started your own families and I missed it. I failed you on your most important days of your lives.
I’m sorry I wasn’t aware of any of the struggles or issues you had faced in past years. You know, the life changing events that shift our reality so much that it questions who we are and what we are doing.
But please know that I’ve never forgotten you. Any of you. I see you doing big things and while things are always crazy here, I am crazy proud of you. And while I might have separated myself, know I always have and always will care for you.
And I will do better. Life for me will always be turbulent and unpredictable. My husband is still in the military and with that comes days, weeks, and months when we will be separated. I will always be moving. My son still struggles with his speech and reading and with that comes hours of extra homework and tutoring and speech therapy that will always occupy my attention and time. I have attained that golden Master’s degree, you know the one that will open all kinds of wonderful opportunities, and with that comes a hopefully short job search and the start of what will hopefully be my career at long last.
I will do better to try and be a part of your life; to ask how you are doing and how you are feeling. I will try to be more aware and happy for all your good news, and be supportive through the more difficult times. I will try to be a more present sister… if you’ll let me.
So please take this apology to heart. Know that I never meant to forget about you and to neglect our sisterhood. It really does mean the world to me. I will be active again one day but regardless, we will always be sisters.