by Karen Hickman, Theta (DePauw U), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
After experiencing some not so good life events and health issues over the past few years, I’ve tried different ways to work through these challenges. One of the most useful exercises I began was to focus on gratitude and record three things I was grateful for each day. Recently, while re-reading what I had logged over several months, I couldn’t believe how many times I wrote something about AOII or my sisters. I didn’t set out to include AOII or my sisters; it just happened. It wasn’t until I reviewed my entries that I realized how important my friendships with sisters were and how they have impacted my life.
I should not have been surprised by this revelation. When initiated, AOIIs exchange mutual commitments with AOII that our relationship with the Fraternity would be forever and that AOII would be that friend upon whom we could always rely and should never hesitate to call.
As I thought beyond just the last few years, I acknowledged that no matter where I’ve lived or what season of life I’ve been in, AOII and my sisters have been there for me. This wasn’t limited to only my Theta Chapter sisters; it included all the sisters I’ve met through the decades from across North America. It included the countless young sisters who were in my life during their four years of college and then moved on to their next chapters. It included the brief encounter with a random collegian while going through security at O’Hare Airport because I noticed she was traveling in AOII letters.
The Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee is frequently asked how members can live Ritual in daily life. One of the most important ways to do this – and something AOIIs often overlook – is to be that friend. Whether you are on the giving side or the receiving end, share your life with your sisters. Relationships are meant to be reciprocal. Many of the entries I recorded were because I was proud of a sister’s achievement, or simply because I appreciated a sister reaching out to me on that particular day. In turn, I hope my AOII sisters see me as that friend when I send a text, make a phone call, or comment on social media in an encouraging way.
I can’t imagine my life without all the amazing ladies who are my sisters. The warm welcomes, the shared laughs, the times that call for tears and hugs (regardless of whether the tears are happy or sad), the mutual support and encouragement, and unending love only sisters can provide mean the world to me. I am blessed to be able to both offer and receive such bounty, and am truly thankful I have AOII for a lifetime.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.