Every November we Americans (and for my Brethren in Canada October) do the same thing. We gather together and enjoy a feast with our family and friends for a feast, fellowship, and football. It can warm the heart of even the most sarcastic, bitter old Past Master. (Yes, I’m talking about myself.)
At some point between the ”pass the stuffing” and Grandpa falling asleep in front of the television after ingesting too much turkey someone will suggest (At least on TV and in the movies. I’ve never seen it done in person) for everyone to tell the group assembled something they are thankful for.
Normally, I’m not one for doing something so corny, but in this year of one devastating body blow after another, I feel like I need to express my gratitude to all those who helped me and their fellow man survive this span of three hundred sixty five days.
First off, I want to thank my Creator, family, and friends. The last few years have been difficult for me healthwise and personally but thanks to all the prayers and emotional support we all have made it through and we will all be will be stronger when the pandemic is finally over.
Of course, I am going to thank all the front line workers (Hospital personnel, ambulance drivers, restaurant workers, and grocers, and everyone else who kept the country together while the rest of us hunkered down in our respective homes).
Since I live with an ”essential worker” and hear about not only the hardships the patients and families have to endure but also the struggles the workers are dealing with. Exhaustion, isolation from their families, the lack of necessary materials..etc. It makes you proud that these people give so much of themselves to care for their fellow man.
Masonically, I also want to thank all the Brethren across the globe who helped the Craft rediscover Masonic relief. Without all the pressure to continually bring in new numbers the members of our Fraternity rolled up their sleeves and once again began t practice Freemasonry once again.
Masons checking on their elderly Brethren and the widows of the lodge and making sure they have the necessities of life like food, their medications, ensuring their homes are comfortable and well maintained. It was also great to be able to gather “virtually” with lodge members that I haven’t been able to see for a long time due to their distance away from me.
I am also grateful to all of those who have taken the time to better themselves and others by reading, writing, and help to spread Masonic education.
It has been amazing to see how many of us, many of who never embraced technology before the pandemic, participate in Zoom meetings learning about their Fraternity. I know myself personally I was able to attend several lectures I would never have had the opportunity to participate in during a typical Masonic year. Talking with many of my friends they had to turn down multiple invitations to speak because they had already been booked by Masonic organizations from across the globe to spread light. (Surprisingly, with all this Freemasonry being discussed by members all through cyberspace secrets of Masonry haven’t been stolen by some virtual clean. I’ll pause right here for a moment to allow you to compose yourself after this shocking revelation )
I would also like to thank my fellow Midnight Freemasons. Until I met Robert Johnson and the rest of the group, I had never thought about trying to write anything. With their encouragement and guidance, they have opened up an entirely new world for me I never would have dreamed existed. It has allowed me to serve the Craft in a way I never would have imagined and given me opportunities to do things I never realized I was capable of doing.
Lastly, on behalf of myself and my fellow Midnight Freemasons, I want to thank you, the person who is reading this. Without you reading, commenting, and sharing our works this website wouldn’t be as popular as it has become.
I know I can speak on their behalf by saying none of us have ever dreamed this blog would have become as popular or as well known without your patronage and sharing what we write with your friends and the Brethren of your lodge.
I hope you will indulge in my sappiness just this one time. But honestly, I think this plague has opened my eyes to what is important in life. I think maybe a lot of us have also discovered or rediscovered what was important to us; Our family our friends and our Craft.
WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco, Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this, he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.