Navigating Life with a Friend

By Charlotte Williams, Alpha Gamma-Alabama

I am pleased to share my story about my exquisite friendship with my dear pledge sister, Lauren. My father suddenly passed away five years ago. As our Delta Zeta Creed reads, “To those closer ones, Love that is ever steadfast,” Lauren exhibited this during a crucial and challenging time in my life. She never stopped calling me, physically showing up and being a sister in every capacity. She dropped off flowers and a framed photograph of my parents at her wedding. Lauren understood without uttering a word, I didn’t always have the strength to answer the door and say anything. She never gave up on me, and I’m forever indebted to her.

As a newlywed, she had quite a bit going on, navigating the intricacies of marriage, but was present in my life. She was by my side with her husband on the day of the funeral and has remained a constant as I continue to memorialize my dad throughout the years. I have the opportunity of sharing memories with her, but she does too. As she reminded me on a phone call, she saw a picture of Edvard Munch’s The Scream and thought of my dad. It was one of his favorite pieces of art. During our collegiate days, Lauren was quite the art expert, with her minor in art history—I remember quizzing her with flashcards in the Delta Zeta house.

 On a recent visit to see Lauren, she shared a story with me from several years ago when my parents invited her over for Thanksgiving. Lauren made a dessert but didn’t feel it was aesthetically pleasing, and nobody would eat it. My dad (a dessert connoisseur) was first in line and welcomed himself to a serving. At the table, he commented on how delicious it was and thanked her. It was paramount to hear from Lauren about the positive impact this left on her. He assured her she did a wonderful job, and he enjoyed the flavors. It was fitting for my father to try everything, remain quiet and reserved, but have well-thought-out feedback. He was kind and always asked about Lauren and her parents during our collegiate years living at the Delta Zeta house.

It seems unreal to know we’ve experienced 16+ years of friendship together. We don’t know what this life journey will continue to bring us, but it keeps me grounded, knowing I have my Delta Zeta sister Lauren to share and navigate it with.