One Theta's Story: Nikki Plauche
Delta Kappa, LSU
My absolute favorite Kappa Alpha Theta song is “Remember.” Over the past 24 years I sung it my head; I heard it sung at my Theta sisters’ weddings and when my nieces or a friend’s daughter was going through recruitment. However, I never realized what the song really meant to me until February of 2018.
I pledged the Delta Kappa Chapter in 1994. I loved every minute of being a collegian, and I loved living in the house for two and a half years. When I graduated from LSU, I hated that I was no longer involved in Theta in my day-to-day life. I moved to Houston, started my career, got married … and for 19 years that was my life. Of course, the amazing women I met in college were still in my life and I in theirs: as a maid of honor, bridesmaid, baby-shower host, godmother, the woman who held their hands at funerals, and so many other roles. My 19 years of being an alumna was full of other Theta women; however, it wasn’t really full of THETA.
Sure, I went to an alumnae event or two, I occasionally contributed to Theta Foundation, and I received the magazine. I took notice if/when a Greek organization was in the news or when something special happened with CASA, but again I was not really in Theta … until Theta remembered me.
In January 2018, my husband and I had to move back to Baton Rouge to take care of his mom. She has dementia and is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. While preparing to sell our house, leave my job, leave my friends, leave life as we knew it, Theta came calling. Out of the blue, I received an email stating that the Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter was in jeopardy of being closed due to a lack of members. When I saw the email come in, suddenly I was 21 again! All I could think was, “The chapter cannot fold.” I immediately responded and let them know I would be moving back and was happy to serve in whatever capacity was required. In March 2018, I joyfully accepted the position of president.
To back up a little bit, since 2013 I have suffered from bipolar II disorder with clinical depression. It is a daily struggle. Add to that selling my beautiful house, moving into a tiny house with my mother-in-law, no job, no schedule, no routine and zero training in how to handle a person with dementia: I was beyond lost! Being able to use my project management skills as president of the alumnae chapter saved me! Truly, by meeting and planning and understanding what this chapter needed, by having a task list, by being held accountable, by serving my fellow sisters in support of nobler womanhood, I was resurrected. By “rejoining” the sisterhood of Theta and having the honor of representing Baton Rouge at Grand Convention 2018, I was reborn in a sense. I felt a fire in my soul that I had thought was long gone. I was beyond empowered by being a part of this amazing group of talented and intelligent women. It was as if I was truly a phoenix rising from the ashes and it was all because “If you remember Theta, she’ll always remember you.” There is simply no other way to put it.
By serving my sisters as an alumna, I am reminded more often to hold myself to the ideals of nobler womanhood. I am reminded that there are women just like me, with struggles that are just as hard. I am reminded that if I stumble and fall, there are 200,000 women to catch me and help me soar again. The new relationships I have made since March have helped me know myself better, know that I can overcome any obstacle (including dementia), know that the women I call friends/sisters are truly in my life forever. I have deepened my love for Theta and the women I know who share my bond. I am beyond blessed that Theta remembered me!