by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Nicholas Wennerström
It’s been almost a year since I first knocked on the back door of Libertyville Lodge #492. I must say, I have regretted every minute of it.
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.
My raising was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, with Brothers coming from as far as central Illinois to be in attendance for someone they hardly knew-if at all. Since becoming a Master Mason, I even took advantage of seeking further Light through the Scottish Rite, Valley of Chicago. The edifice in Bloomingdale, Illinois is a stunner and to watch men put on such grand performances, selflessly, with no expectation of gratitude, only to make each of us better, is beyond belief. For some, it’s a full-time journey who realize the reward for serving a fellow Brother is simply serving a fellow Brother.
I have learned to become very fond of these men for the fellowship they have shown me. Together, we learn and grow; albeit at our own paces and on our own terms. I’m inspired by some who I see at every degree, gathering, fellowship meeting and masonic education opportunity; for nothing in return.
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.
Bro. Nicholas Wennerström, 32 is a Master Mason out of the 1st NE District of Illinois and member of Libertyville lodge #492. He is also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago. He is a father of two boys and devoted husband and currently suffers from Benjamin Buttons disease.