I joined Freemasonry for the mystery and tradition. Since my time with the Blue Lodge, I have met some tremendous men. I have met funny men, wise men and brilliant men. Through the three degrees, I have watched these men come together for me and put on the most spectacular degrees with a strict and committed adherence to the rituals we hold so close.
While we have good times, we also succumb to the fact that while we celebrate the good, we find ourselves in mourning over the loss of a Brother or a spouse. Any relationship is a leap, a hunch and Brothers know the ending statement ‘we live to die’. We will spend years together eating, practicing, learning, only to one day say our final goodbyes or be there for one another when a loved one goes home. It’s hard to imagine but it is real.
Freemasonry has taught me that while the individual may pass we each live on through the Fraternity. I regret meeting these men who I call Brothers, some of whom may demit, some I won’t see often and some will pass one day. As Mason’s we embrace death, the proverbial skull and bones, not because of some nefarious reason but because we realize our time is limited and we must make the most of it.
I regret the great good and selflessness they have shown me, worrying at times I can never pay them back. Perhaps it’s a debt never intended to be returned.
In a time where human dignity has become scarce, I have met a group of men of every faith, ethnic and socioeconomic background offer me a hand with little knowledge of who I am. While the shared initiatic experience can bring us together, it’s the fellowship for me that keeps the cable rope in tow.
It’s easy to become jaded and cold to a world rife with insults, war and anger. Freemasonry in Illinois has shown me that there is still good in our world and through selfless acts we too can open the doors to show there is still plenty of faith to be had in humanity.
Mason’s come forward and give of their own free will and accord. More often, you do it for people you don’t know. We one day must say farewell.
Brothers, I regret ever meeting any of you.