Our Significant Others, another perspective
We must remember Freemasonry is a Fraternity and the meetings are closed to the ladies and significant others are often left at home or in the collation room while the men congregate in Lodge rooms. This article is for and really from the ladies we hold so dear. As the image at the top may relate it can be somewhat humorous and lighthearted but serious nonetheless.
How often do we think about what our significant other’s feelings on Freemasonry are. In some cases men were already members when they met or married, and some joined after meeting or marrying. The old adage definitely holds true for many of the ladies. “Behind every successful (some would say active) Mason is a Mason’s lady”.
It’s often been said that we really can’t understand another person until we’ve stepped into their shoes and walked around a bit in them. I hold this as an axiom and try my best to never judge without putting on their shoes first, to see what they see.
Some of the older members I speak to about this subject have relayed that when they first joined their wives or significant others were not all too keen on the late nights out at the Lodge or out several times a week to Lodge meetings and functions. But as they got older their wives in some cases have encouraged them to go.
A time to celebrate our ladies
Recently we celebrated International Women’s Day and soon we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day. Days to think about all the women in a man’s life and celebrate all they do for all of us. But when it comes to Freemasonry, it will always be a Fraternity and woman can only be involved in their husband’s/significant other’s Lodge around the periphery.
Although women have figured prominently in Masonic imagery of the past as the article’s main image suggests. Here are some turn of the century post cards that feature Freemasonry and the Ladies.
Some Examples of antique Masonic Post Cards
In this article I’d like to explore what Freemasonry means to the Ladies of Masons and how they see things, take a walk in their shoes so to speak. So without further ado let’s explore and learn.
Barbara Muller Flores writes:
I dedicate this to the unsung heroes of the Suffolk Masonic District, my fellow ladies of the district, although we are not as visible in our work we all know behind every great mason out there is a hardworking and supportive lady.
Being a Masonic Wife is an honor and privilege I never expected. I was raised in a Masonic family with the grandparents and my parents my dad was raised in Brooklyn then eventually the Lodge of Antiquity. Then in May of 2008 my husband was raised in The Lodge of Antiquity, and eventually became master in 2014.
Having been raised in the masonic family, I under the long nights and the “honey” I am going to this visitation, or this lecture on an enlightening topic. Nor shall we forget “O Love, the Lodge is having an event on such and such date and I volunteered to make X”, as you check the schedule that’s the week of craziness between work, the children’s schedule, and everything in between.
When are you supposed to make it and exactly how many are you cooking for? However, through it all we manage to balance life and support our men and get it done. Then we remind them for the next time before you volunteer check with us first, and yet somehow, they forget to and the cycle continues. We are just grateful they don’t ask us the night before or the morning of, although I have heard that has happened to some of you.
On top of all of that we catch our men, every so often, mumbling to themselves with conviction and dedication. To them it all makes perfect sense and yet we look at them and think they have gone crazy. Then we learn that they have a degree coming up that they must study for; still not having a clue you understand and accept it’s important to them. You sit back and hope that one day you will truly understand what this all means to them and why they dedicate so much to it all.
You see no direct reward or conciliation of their work, and do not understand why this does not upset them. As you’re Mason explains it to you they do all of this not just for themselves, but the others within the Craft, to some surprise it makes sense to you to a point and still leaves you wondering for more.
To confuse you more why is everyone at the Lodge Called Brother when no one is related, and it is explained, that to demonstrate the equality of the men and that no one is greater than the other. You hear how Masonry is centuries old and throughout the world. Then one day they get a phone call or email that Bro. ABC has been called to the Great Architect of the Universe, it’s a name you never heard of and yet you see the sheer loss of the Brother in their eyes, as you console them. As the term brother becomes clearer, you help them get ready to say goodbye to their brother.
Then one day in the mail there is an envelope addressed to you because they heard it’s your birthday, anniversary, congratulations on an achievement, or even a word of encouragement through a rough patch.
A poem by “A Mason’s Wife”
How many wives of Masons have ever given much thought,
To the wonderful biblical lessons that Masonry has taught?
Have you asked yourself this question, when you sat alone at night. While hubby was away at Lodge: “is my reasoning straight and right?”
I know the nights are lonely and long, but this thought occurred to me, “If my husband weren’t a Mason, what kind of man would he be?”
They call us Masonic Widows; I’ve been one for many a year. I’ve spoken my piece on lonely nights and berated my hubby dear.
But then again I regret my words, and with wisdom try to see, “If my husband weren’t a Mason, what kind of man would he be?”
I know nothing of their secret work, but this much I understand. That the lessons taught in Masonry have made him a better man.
So, ask yourself this question, which has always come to me, “If my husband weren’t a Mason, what kind of man would he be?”
So I try to be a patient wife, as alone I meditate, And see his point, as he leaves for Lodge, with these words, “I won’t be late!”
Some say that men make Masonry, and this I understand, But, deep in my heart I still maintain, “that Masonry makes the Man.”
As we journey life’s highway together, to the inner dreams of life, May he be a Mason forever.
‘A Mason’s Wife’
More resources and information
Bro. Ed King who runs the masonicinfo.com website, that’s almost as old as the internet itself, has a page on this, called Our Wives. It hits on many of the most common questions that some men thinking about joining and what their wives must be thinking.
There have also been several books written on the subject and may offer both men and women some answers to questions they may have or at least as the post title suggests, another perspective.
This would also be a great time to mention some of the appendant or concordant bodies for the ladies that are part of the Masonic landscape.
- The Order of the Eastern Star – OES
- Order of the Amaranth
- International Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem
- Social Order of the Beauceant – an organization of women limited to the wives and widows of Knights Templar.
Of course many of the Ladies that belong to the above Orders have also been member of the fine organizations dedicated to the young ladies, which you can read about HERE.