Written by Madison Garrett, a member of Gamma Phi Beta.
I see my days as a part of Gamma Phi Beta in flashes.
I remember Bid Day and the colors and the cupcakes and the millions of pictures with people I did not yet know.
I remember Big/Little Reveal and being tackled by two girls dressed as Harry and Ron, as I held a giant Hermione head over my face. I remember drinking bubble tea and eating burritos and feeling like I was going to explode from the happiness I felt at becoming a part of the greatest family in the world.
I remember moving into the house as a sophomore and all the glorious chaos that came with sharing a room with three other girls. I remember taking communal naps, reading quotes and articles aloud to each other and having impromptu jam sessions, as Madi broke out her guitar and all the sisters from down the hall came to join.
I remember running through the hallway on a rainy day, grabbing the sisters who passed me and pulling them out into the storm with me. I remember doing cartwheels across the lawn and singing show tunes at the top of our lungs as we twirled in the pouring rain.
I remember wearing the most ridiculous costumes to socials and having the funniest themes for date nights. I remember how thrilling it was to become a Big and jump out of a box to surprise my Littles. I remember my sisters singing Happy Birthday to me all day long when my birthday fell in the middle of recruitment and I remember the enthusiasm they greeted me with when I was accepted to the Disney College Program.
I remember and I forever treasure every one of these things in my heart.
But what I will remember beyond all of that, beyond the milkshake runs and the sing-a-longs and all the times we watched The Bachelor?
I will remember the love and support that was bestowed upon me when I found out the gut-wrenching news that my father was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor, one that was both inoperable and incurable.
I will forever be speechless at the way that my sisters loved me and rallied around me. They sent flowers, messages, words of hope, words of encouragement and prayers up to the Lord for the miracle we are desperate for. Even though I was living in Orlando at the time and hadn’t even met our newest pledge class, my sisters surrounded me in a way that I did not even know was possible. Sisters who had already graduated often called to check up on me and generously offered anything that they could to lighten our burden; even girls in younger pledge classes that I did not know personally reached out and offered their love and support.
My sisters made me feel insanely loved and, in a season that threatened hopelessness and isolation, my sisters championed me, went to battle for me, and encouraged my aching heart.
There are simply not enough words in the English language to say thank you. I have always known our sisterhood to be one of resilience, authenticity and loyalty; one that is willing to rally around each other in any circumstance, but to now be the recipient of such ferocity of love is both humbling and overwhelming.
I could not be more honored to be loved and supported by so many dynamic and passionate women. Friends, do not underestimate the relationships that are bound by Greek letters. They are fierce. They are loyal. They are changing.
It is an honor to know and be known by the girls of Gamma Phi Beta.