It came out of the blue and with little notice: A Masonic widow needed help moving.
On a Thursday evening, the notice came to me initially via messenger and later as an email. One of our Masonic widows needed assistance. Not only did she need assistance, but it was also for Saturday morning, and for several of us, it was over an hour away. I have nothing but pride and honor of being with the brethren as we pitched in to complete the mission.
It began as a single last-minute message out to another few individuals, asking if they in turn might help get the word out to the Brothers. A query we are seeing more and more--help for a widow, yet we can be so immersed into our own lives we forget that a few hours can make such a big difference. My part in this was small. I copied the text and sent it out to a few dozen close Brothers via my own text message. I suppose that's our current version of the Masonic phone tree of the '70s and '80s. There really wasn't time to do much more than coordinate with our Brother who remained in communication with the widow, but I did discuss it during the Friday Masonic Happy Hour, garnering another volunteer. How many of us could clear a morning and early afternoon on one day's notice? I had so many Brothers reach out to me saying, "not Saturday, but I can help - tell me how?", and how cool was that? How awesome to know that even if they couldn't make it to the event, they still had our backs by offering other assistance. The Brothers responded.
The weather was just this side of abysmal. We had a full day of slow soaking rain in the upper 30's, and we were blessed with very little wind. Yet we showed up. We pushed through. We didn't let a little weather or distance stop us from being the Masons we all want to be.
Saturday morning a Mason and a couple of DeMolays met at my house having no idea if we were the only ones, or who might have responded separately. To my delight, we had over a dozen respond and had great fellowship as we made quick work of loading a U-Haul and a couple of our trucks. Cold, wet, and tired, we were all back home by early afternoon with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
I'm always pleasantly surprised at the dedication and fortitude of the Brethren, and I want to give a quick shout out to Brother DeMolays Darien and Landon Beck (I'm a senior DeMolay and proud to be their Brother), Brother Masons Glenn Parker, and Jess Botterbush, to Brother Terry Coppotelli for coordinating this, and Brothers Bret Akers, Ken Harper, and Robbie Bowles for making sure the information was propagated. There were more, and they also took time and made effort. Effort and time, something which is precious against our own 24-inch gauges. It takes showing up, being there for each other, being there - for our widows and orphans. You gentlemen and the whole of the moving crew - you humble me and make me proud.
Bachelors in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in telecom IT. He volunteers his time as a professional and personal mentor, is an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol. He has a 30+ year background teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy's Masonic bio includes lodge education officer of two blue lodges, running the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, active in York Rite AMD, Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis co-librarian, Clerk of the Academy Of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, a trained facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. As a pre-COVID-19 pioneer in Masonic virtual education, Randy is an administrator of Refracted Light and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy enjoys facilitating and presenting Masonic esoteric education, and he hosts an open, weekly Masonic virtual Friday Happy Hour. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.