The Sisterhood of Motherhood

By Kitsey Burns Harrison, Gamma Chapter, Fall 2003

This Mother’s Day, I am overwhelmed with so many different emotions. These feelings fly about me like colorful threads meant to be woven into a beautiful tapestry, but the strings seem to keep unraveling as I try to put them together.

This holiday, all holidays really, have been hard these last few years since my mom passed away in 2013. Every sentimental greeting card commercial and the inevitable flood of mother/daughter photos on Facebook practically send me into tears and I’d like to just hide under a rock until Monday morning when it’s all over.

Mother’s Day is also very special for me this year as I will be giving birth to my own child in August. I want to celebrate this fact and at the same time it’s yet another stark reminder that my own mother is no longer with me.

I spent Mother’s Day last year at a minor league baseball game with my dad. It was a beautiful sunny day and with the sounds of the game and a cold beer in hand it was easy to forget that it was even a holiday. Thoughts of motherhood, however, were still around me. That was actually the very day I decided I was ready to start a family. I apologize for the cheesy pun, but I’m sure my husband thought it came out of left field when I returned home from the game and sprung the news on him that I wanted to go off my birth control.

As I work to pull all these emotional strings into balance, I find that one of the most important supporting threads in this tapestry is my connection with my sisters of Theta Nu Xi.

As an only child, sisterhood was one of the main reasons I sought to join Theta Nu Xi while in college at UNC Greensboro in 2003. I loved the inclusive nature of this multicultural organization as well. I confess that it was also about wanting to be a part of something. I wanted that cool jacket with the lavender and Carolina blue letters and to walk around on campus with my sisters in their letters. My 21-year old self sang along wholeheartedly with our song, saying “Theta Nu Xi, for all my life.” I’m not sure you could have truly explained to me at the age how much the sisterhood would mean to me as I got older. Yes, I still wear that line jacket with pride, although some people look at me funny for wearing something from college when I graduated more than a decade ago. However, those letters now represent the times my sisters have been there for me in good times and bad.

I’ll never forget the day of my Mamma’s funeral being surrounded by sisters who came from near and far to be with me on that difficult day. My little sister Amanda left her own family behind, on Thanksgiving weekend no less, to fly from San Antonio, Texas to North Carolina to be with me. I remember being surrounded in a supportive hug from several sisters and looking up to see another sister, LaToya, who didn’t even live in North Carolina at the time. Ever since, I have teased her that she has some magical power to transport herself wherever she wants, or needs to be.

On my wedding day, too, I was surrounded by my beautiful sisters and though my Mom was not there for that special day, my sisters helped to fill the void with their love and support.

When I announced my pregnancy I joined a special sisterhood within the sisterhood, the sisterhood of motherhood. I felt a little like a celebrity because sisters were practically fighting over who was going to add me to the Facebook group for Theta Nu Xi mothers. I’ve been so grateful for the support from that group and my sisters in general.

As I’ve gotten older I realize more and more the importance of this amazing bond I have formed with the women of Theta Nu Xi. I’m no longer strolling arm in arm with sisters on campus wearing letters. Now my interactions with sisters are more likely to take place via text or Facebook, but that same level of love and support is just as strong, if not stronger.

As I continue on this journey of motherhood, I know that my sisters are still by my side.

Whether or not we’re mothers, I think the nature of sisterhood is very similar in the level of care and emotional support we provide to one another, so I’m wishing a very a happy Mother’s Day to all the sisters of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

Soror Kitsey Burns Harrison shows off her baby bump