Wednesday, July 20, 2016
And The Phone Rings Again…
Another week and another unpleasant phone call. I was in the middle of my workday when my phone rang out from my shirt pocket and when I pulled it out and looked at the screen an unknown number was displayed on my caller ID. After the second or third ring, I answered the call not really knowing what to expect as I have made so many calls the past several weeks that it could have been a call from any number of companies or publications. Well, as Monty Brewster would say, it was from none of the above. It was, in fact, one of those call that I dread but also comes with being the Secretary of the lodge… another brother has been called off from labor.
Unfortunately, over the past few years I have spoken with a variety of funeral homes in the area as well as families of brothers who have been called off from labor. It is never an easy conversation. In fact, it is just as difficult now as it was the first time I answered one of these calls. After all, we are losing a brother not just a number in our membership… a member of our lodge, our masonic family, is no longer with us and all that knowledge that they had attained is forever silent.
However, I am appreciative of the opportunity that the family has given us to honor our brother one final time. Too often I have found myself finding about a brother’s passing long after the fact. I consider the request to conduct a Masonic Funeral Service as a gift from our departed brother and his family to big farewell and thank him one final time for being a member of our fraternal family for over 65 years. The least we can do is honor this final request.
It is with great melancholy that I write this knowing that these events will be repeated again and again as our brothers continue to advance in age. It is a sequence of events that has become near ritual in recent years. However, as we hear of each brother being called off from labor, we can look to our lodges and see our new brethren take those initial steps in Freemasonry. The same steps that our departed brother took decades prior when their journey was just beginning. Such is the cycle of life and how we honor our brothers past, present, and future.