…With Gracious and Kindly Hearts We May Share Both Joy and Sorrow…

Well, after months, and months of waiting, my submission to The Quill (the official magazine of my sorority Alpha Xi Delta) was published. I wrote it back in April, and it was finally published in the Fall/Winter edition. I waited for it to come in the mail, and rushed home after my holiday part last week to read it. My Sister Jaclyn scanned it for me, so I can share it with all of you.

(click on the image to zoom in)

The article reads:

The part of our Symphony that means the most to me is, “that with gracious and kindly hearts we may share both joy and sorrow, and bring into living reality the sisterhood of women.” Two summers ago, on August 17, 2010, my entire world was turned upside down when my little sister, Jennifer “Niffie” DeVito, was killed in a motorcycle accident. She was only 18 years old, and the pain associated with her loss is beyond comprehension.

That night, I called my best friend and fellow Alpha Xi, Kate, and told her that Jen was in an accident and didn’t survive and that I was on my way to the hospital. She stayed on the phone with me the whole way there, and made sure I was driving safely. She was my only sorority Sister I told. It was too difficult to talk about.

The next day, while my family was preparing for funeral arrangements, my house was filled with cards, flowers, plants and food from all my Sisters. They all offered the same kind words, “We are here for you and your family.” Rianna, my long time high school friend and later Alpha Xi Sister even had a 6ft wedge dropped off by her Dad, saying, “Rianna said you all need to eat.” I am convinced that if it wasn’t for that sandwich, my Dad and Brother would not have eaten a single thing.

All my Sisters knew of the tragic news, and I only told one person. I was stunned with how quickly news had traveled.

The wake was unbelievably hard and painful. The line to get in to pay your respects was about two hours long. I was tired, exhausted, and drained. Then, without warning, all my Sisters showed up. Not just a few, but all of them. Stephanie came from as far as Maryland and Maggie came from upstate New York. From far and wide, my Sisters came. They waited on line, offered their condolences to my family and myself, and sat all day with me. They made me laugh, and more importantly, told me that there were always there for me. My Dad came over and asked if there was a prerequisite to be an Alpha Xi Delta, because we all talked and looked the same. We simply replied that’s what happens when you become best friends.

At one point, the funeral director came up to me and said, “You have the nicest group of friends. You are very lucky,” to which I replied, “They’re not only my friends; they’re my Sisters.” I felt so honored to tell her that.

Later that evening, they took me out to dinner, to get me out of my house and to just relax. We didn’t have a reservation, and were a pretty large party, but our Sister Chivonne was a manager, and seated us right away; no questions asked. I had no appetite, but they made sure I ate. They took care of me. And when I softly told them all of what had happened to Jen, they all listened attentively and wiped away their own tears. It was a terrible reason for us all to be together again, but I am so lucky that they were all there for me.

After the funeral and the shock started to subside, my Sisters never left my side. They still sent food, cards, and always checked in. I cherish all my text messages of, “Thinking of you xoxo tfj” and know that they sincerely meant it. My sister Ashley, whom I went through my New Member Process with, made everyone in my family beautiful bookmarks using the Mass cards from the funeral. She customized each bookmark for my Mom, Dad, and Brother, and wrote everyone a personal note. My Mom and Dad use their bookmarks every day.

One thing that absolutely took my breath away is that my Sister Allison, donated her hair to Locks of Love, in Jennifer’s name. I was so touched at her unselfish act of kindness.

I have always said becoming a member of Alpha Xi Delta was the best decision on my life, and I can’t stress that enough. In my darkest hour, when I felt like my world was coming to a screeching halt, my Sisters were there. They wiped my tears, hugged me, and were (and still are) my biggest supporters. I love them all more than they will ever know. They proved that no matter what is going on, and no matter where we all may be that we will always be there for each other. We are friends. We are Sister. We are each other’s families.

I started a blog as a way to get my emotions out, and hopefully share my story of grief with another girl who lost her sister. Whenever I have a new post, my Sisters are the first ones to comment, and remind me of how much they love me.

Yes, my life has endured a lot of sorrow, but I am so grateful for the joy that my Sisters bring me. They are the epitome of what sisterhood means. 

I was walking around with my copy of The Quill, and showing everyone my story, and saying that I was printed on “glossy paper.” It was a great early Christmas gift to come home too.

Plus, when it came out, I got so many texts, e-mails and Facebook messages from my sisters, saying they saw my article, and how it made them cry. I’ve had some rough times, but have been able to get through it with the love and support of my family, my friend, and my Sisters ❤




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:06:10

    I love you ! Always and forever ❤


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