Last night was our Installation of Officers. After conducting the essential business of the evening, we adjourned downstairs to a reception graciously hosted and organized by the wives of our three primary officers. I felt immense gratitude towards my extraordinary wife of nearly twenty years, whose tireless efforts made this event truly exceptional. I was equally appreciative of the hard work and involvement of the other two spouses. While my wife has always been a pillar of support in everything I pursue, last night held a unique significance. It symbolized the culmination of my journey to the East, and having her by my side last night filled my heart with an overwhelming sense of joy that words cannot adequately capture.
Every Mason understands that the foundation of our Fraternity rests upon the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. This transformative journey embraces personal growth, spiritual development, and a deep commitment to serving humanity. However, we must recognize the indispensable role played by our family, spouses, significant others, friends, and loved ones. It is difficult to fully convey the significance of having such a support system beyond the walls of the Lodge, and the immensely positive impact it has on our Masonic experience defies adequate expression.
Family members' unwavering support and encouragement form the bedrock of a Mason's journey. When our loved ones comprehend, support, and wholeheartedly embrace our pursuit of Freemasonry, it transcends being a mere extracurricular activity and becomes an integral aspect of our existence. Their support and participation can give us a profound sense of belonging and provides a shared platform to exchange our experiences, navigate challenges, and celebrate triumphs. The support of our families fosters an environment of trust and understanding, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the teachings and principles of Freemasonry. Moreover, these invaluable lessons extend beyond the Lodge, positively influencing and enriching our lives on the domestic front.
The importance of family support extends beyond mere participation in Masonic events. Families often play a vital role in the logistical aspects of our Masonic endeavors. From preparing meals for Lodge dinners to assisting with fundraising activities, their involvement brings efficiency, warmth, and a sense of camaraderie. These acts of love and dedication enhance the overall Masonic experience for all, fostering a spirit of unity and cooperation among Brethren.
Embarking on this journey without the unwavering support, insightful perspective, and invaluable assistance of my wife would be simply unimaginable. A Brother, friend, and mentor to me once told her after an event that she was “a better Mason than most”, a statement she jokingly retells almost any time I ask her to help with some new endeavor for the benefit of the Craft. There are Brothers in our small Lodge where I have never met a member of their family, where their Masonry is for them and them alone. Some may use the Fraternity as an escape from their home life, as an excuse to go out a few times a month with the guys. In my personal opinion, these Brothers may be missing the essence and true purpose of Freemasonry.
As I reflect on the years since I joined Freemasonry, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my family's unwavering support and active involvement. From the moment I expressed my desire to begin this journey, they have been my rock, my pillars of strength. Their constant encouragement, understanding, and participation have been instrumental in shaping my Masonic path. They have stood by me through every endeavor, offering their love and unwavering belief in the principles we hold dear. My family's devotion has fueled my commitment, inspired me to strive for excellence, and reminded me of the profound impact Freemasonry can have not only on my own life but also on our collective journey. Together, we have built a bond that transcends the Lodge, fostering a legacy of unity, compassion, and service. To my beloved family, words cannot adequately convey the depth of my appreciation. You are the foundation upon which my Masonic journey stands, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
And to my wife, whose presence at barbeques, food drives, toy drives, and even work details has meant so much to me. Your warmth, love, and dedication have created a supportive environment that has allowed me to fully embrace the Masonic path. I am in awe of your willingness to lend a helping hand, whether it be in organizing fundraising initiatives or preparing delicious meals for Lodge gatherings. Your participation has not only made these events more enjoyable but I pray has also inspired other Masonic families to actively engage in the pursuit of our shared principles.
Embrace the opportunity to involve your families in your Masonic journey, as much as they are willing and able. Encourage them to form connections and bonds with your Brothers and their families, fostering a sense of camaraderie and unity. Organize family events that celebrate the collective spirit of Freemasonry and provide a platform for genuine appreciation. Let your loved ones know just how deeply grateful you are for their unwavering support and the invaluable contributions they make to your Masonic endeavors. By recognizing and involving our families, we strengthen the fabric of our Masonic community, creating a lasting legacy of togetherness and shared experiences.
Bro. Erik M. Geehern is currently Master of Goshen Masonic Lodge #365 in Goshen, NY under the Grand Lodge of New York. He was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in October of 2019 and since then has served in various progressive chairs along the road to the east. He writes and curates a newsletter for his Lodge quarterly which disseminates education, history, and esoterics. He is also a member of the Grand College of Rites, the American Lodge of Research, and the Kansas Lodge of Research. He works in restaurant operations & consulting, and when not engaged in his usual vocation, or laboring in the Craft, he loves spending time with his wife and two children.