February 22, 2019
There’s no place like home! That was the theme of one of Delta Eta Chapter’s most successful recruitment parties of the 1970s. Dorothy, or our KD version of Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz, left each membership candidate with the message that being a Kappa Delta sister would give her that magical feeling of family and friendship unlike any other women’s organization she might join. I’m sure very few signed their bid cards thinking about 40 years or more into their future.
In 2013, though the modern marvel of Facebook, a few women in their late 50s gathered for a weekend of renewed sisterhood. It was a reunion weekend that would change our lives for a second time, again through Kappa Delta. Each year, our faithful group meets to spend time together, renew our bonds of sisterhood and help improve and enrich each other’s lives. Through philanthropic endeavors, skill-building and expertise-sharing, these sisters bring part of their new worlds together to enhance the KD experience.
There were 47 of us, now 46. This year brought challenges. It was our first beach weekend without a sister due to her sudden death, a mere three months after our last get-together. Two KD sisters had lost their husbands from aggressive cancers; sisters still struggling with gaping holes in their hearts. There were sisters who suddenly had to make life-altering changes to take care of parents suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. On New Year’s Eve, another sister experienced the loss of her home, three cars and everything the family owned from a catastrophic fire. Fortunately, our KD sister and her family all escaped with their lives, but nothing else. Never was the preciousness and value of our sisterhood made so apparent as this last 12 months.
Any one of these events would shake our world. All of them in short succession made us realize how fragile life is and how meaningful our Kappa Delta bonds have become. We have come to depend on each other in ways we did not fathom back in our college days. Sisters traveled to funerals, hospice locations, medical facilities. Sisters arranged replacement of meaningful KD items, offered financial support, provided meals for days and weeks, made visits and sent notes of solidarity and support – and most importantly offered prayers. Never before have the letters AOT meant so very much to each of us. Without that first weekend six years ago bringing us together after 40 years, many of these sisters would not have had the support base of their Kappa Delta sisters.
Not all moments are filled with sadness. In the in-between months, our KD sisters travel to spend time with each other individually or in small groups. Many of us thought nothing would surpass college. To our amazement, Kappa Delta keeps reminding us of relationships and lessons that are priceless.
The take-away is simple – don’t waste one more moment of precious life waiting for the right time to reconnect with your chapter sisters or a KD you have met along the way. There will never be a better time than today. It takes one phone call to rekindle the spirit of Kappa Delta. Nothing will match the face-to-face, the hug, the smile, our circle, but reaching out is the beginning. We all are so thankful of the day we chose to be Kappa Deltas. We are even more grateful for the day we chose to be even closer to our KD sisters.
Barbara Frank Soucy
Delta Eta-South Florida