Reconnecting in a Pandemic

Recent years have gifted us with the revivals of such fan favorites as “Will and Grace” and “Roseanne,”

and though I’ve loved all of them, my absolute favorite has been the reboot of my Alpha Chi Omega sisterhood. Sometimes friendships are rekindled naturally.

Other times, it’s an attempt to make amends for past indiscretions. But sometimes, it’s a moment, a chance encounter, a right-place-at-the-right-time sort of plotline.

Like all great love stories of the modern era, ours started on social media with a post from our alma mater, UC Irvine, inviting alums to the January 2020 homecoming celebration.

In the 29 years since graduation, I’d never attended, but this felt like the year to finally join the fun.

I reached out to my sisters on Facebook looking for interest.

A few clicked “maybe,” some “liked” the post, but it didn’t feel like there was enough charge to ignite a group.

However, the following week, the collegiate chapter invited sisters to brunch homecoming afternoon. Well, like all women know, the promise of food seals the deal.

My sisters began to RSVP for the brunch as fast as we registered for impacted classes back at UCI. My first venture back on campus reminded me of when we had reconnected at the end of summer for recruitment training.

What began as catching up on careers, kids and home repairs progressed to hours of fun at our homecoming expo, the game, dinner in town and even a trip to our favorite college bar. Thirteen hours later, we were sealed in the bond of sisterhood again.

We were so excited and emotional and began to plan more adventures together.

As the shock of working at home and sheltering in place subsided, we reached a quick consensus

that there was no way we were going to let this inability to see each other physically prevent

the continued fostering of the loving relationships we’d formed nearly 30 years ago.

Enter Zoom. And WhatsApp. And iMessage. And too many belly laughs and virtual hugs to count.

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