Every November, around this time, I get really nostalgic. It's something about the leaves and the cooling Fresno weather. Something about Fresno State Football and early sunsets. Something about a cold and sleepless night in November of 1996, that makes me pine for my college days.
Sure I miss the parties and the cute fraternity boys (heck! I married one!). I miss the excitement for serenades and formals. Mostly I miss the girls, my sisters, who lived their life by my side, got ready in the same huge bathroom, who ate dinner in the same dining room, and who shared secrets in our bunks. I miss living in that huge drafty house, with its creaks and haunts, its noisy bathroom no matter the time, and the available friendship at any hour for any reason.
All of these things I took for granted. Thinking at the time that this feeling, these moments, would last forever. That I would always live in that house, that I would always be a step away from those friends. It's been years, and I'm still so close with many, but our visits are few and far between. We are women now, with families and careers. With busy lives that make the weekly all nighters seem tame. That make those parties and retreats seem 100 years ago.
When I joined in 1996, I remember many people telling me that I was "buying" friends. Back then I was just a kid and didn't really know how to answer. I was new to Fresno so I was lonely. And I did indeed need friends. So maybe I was buying into the idea of belonging to something. Maybe I was ready to belong to something after being so independent and on the "fringe" in high school. Back then all I really remember is really missing my friends in my old town, and desperately wanting friends in my new town. Amazingly enough I found a spot, where other women accepted me at face value (EVEN IN JEANS!).
Now when I think about "buying" those friends, I realize it's not even close to what I did. 1996 was the year I made one of the most sound and important investments of my life. I invested in myself, in my future, and in friendship that would prove to be forever eternal. It was an investment in myself, both academically and socially. Becoming a Delta Zeta ensured I would become the Megan I am today. Sister, Woman, Wife, Mother, Person.
Delta Zeta brought so many wonderful and amazing people into my life. I met John (the Husband) at a sister's house warming party. I have worn at least 3 bridesmaids dresses because of Delta Zeta. I have attended too many weddings to list as well. I get more Christmas cards from Sisters than I do family. And nothing has been more amazing than when the birth announcements started rolling in.
My life is incredibly blessed because of sorority life. My nearest and dearest friends are my sisters. Caitlin's god mother is my pledge sister Shonna. Shonna was there when both my daughters were born. She held Caitlin when she was less than an hour old. How incredible is that?
I miss that house at 5337 North Millbrook. In that house, with those women, I became me. I hid nothing, and they were loyal. I made mistakes, and they forgave. I loved, and they loved back. A true investment that has returned many times over.
Then it was just a little lamp, that guided me on my way. Today it's the flame of my sisters love, that still burns night and day.
Forever in the flame, my sisters...