From Juana Weatherall
(wife of Bro. James Weatherall, P.G.M. Arkansas)
I AM NOT A MASON. I'm not even a man. Better than both of these, perhaps, I am the wife of a Mason. Many times I have wanted to stand up at a Masonic function and tell those present just how much the Masonic Fraternity has positively affected my life, but I never quite gathered the confidence.
Perhaps I was afraid you would think me silly, or out of place, or worse yet, insincere. Knowing that I probably will never stand before any of you and verbally express my feelings, I hope you will not be offended that I take this means to communicate my long-silent thoughts.
I married a young man when we were both nineteen years old. We were sure that we were mature adults ready to take on the responsibilities of adult life, not realizing at the time that we were such novices. As soon as he was old enough, my young husband petitioned the local Lodge and was accepted.
He worked at the memorization of the Degrees with a dedication I had not before seen in him. He attended Lodge regularly and was soon working his way through the chairs of his Lodge. With each new step, his confidence in himself grew, his maturity increased, his moral values became more firmly entrenched.
Although I was vaguely aware of these changes, it was several years before I fully realized to what extent Masonry was affecting our lives. I can't recall where we were, or the words my Mason spoke, but suddenly the light bulb came on, and without doubt I understood, and feel even more strongly today, that everything my husband is, and everything my children and I are, is so intricately interwoven with his Masonic beliefs, values, and responsibilities that our personal lives and our Masonic lives are one.
At nineteen I would not have thought of having a network of friends and support as exists in the Masonic Fraternity. Just to mention afew, there's the Masonic wife (a nurse) who worries about my husband's dietary habits; the Mason who offers to take my younger son for a weekend when he knows I'll be temporarily a single parent; the Mason who has spent hours arranging activities for the ladies for Grand Lodge session, and the one who volunteered his wife to drive me around town if I needed her. I know that if ever I am in physical, emotional, or financial need. help is near, and that a Mason is only a phone call away.
Simple words written on a cold piece of paper can't express the warmth I have in my heart. My life has heen enriched by the experiences I have had and by the people I have met through my husband's affiliation with the Masons. I love the man my husband has become even more than I loved that naive nineteen-year-old boy I married twenty-three years ago. I love the Masonic Fraternity and its principles of living, for making him the man he is. And, so, I finally get around to what I 've wanted to state for so long, but lacked the nerve to say: thank you, Mason.s everywhere. I love vou all!
Letter written to all newly raised Master Masons by Donita Papas, wife of Bro. Robert Papas P.G.M. of Minnesota.
I have been advised that your husband has recently becorme a member of the Masonic Fraternity. As the wife of the current Grand Master of Masons in Minnesota, please allow me to speak to you "Woman to Woman."
With the ever-changing roles of women in today's society, with our newly-found freedoms and opportunities, the place of Masonry can often be misunderstood bv many. Male-only organizations are often viewed with suspicion. Let me assure you that in the 26 years my husband has been a Mason, I have never had cause to doubt its good effects upon his character. The men with whom he has associated in his Lodge work " have been consistently men of honor and good reputation. The organization attracts men of genuine quality. As such, you should feel great personal pride that your husband is now counted among such an association.
Masonry is founded on the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood fb man. Masons move quietly to remove human suffering. This is evident in their many benevolent and charitable activities. I might also assure you that no organization has ever stood so strongly in support of the family unit and all that it stands for.
Masons often state that their purpose is to take good men and make them better. As such, each individual member's goal is one of self improvement. As a result, the man who gauges his life in accordance with Masonic moral law will be a happier man, a better citizen and a more loving and understanding husband and father.
The Masonic organization also offers many opportunities for you and the family to participate: in events of the Blue Lodge, in their sponsorship of outstanding youth organizations and in the many appendant organizations for both men and women. Indeed, the Masonic organization is a family in itself.
In the reality of today's world, there are too many things which can lead an individual astray. During my marriage, I have observed that Masonry is one element which has done only good for my husband, myself and my children. As such, my advice to you would be to not only support your husband in his membership, but also to strongly encourage his active participation so that he may well learn the lessons which are taught.
My best wishes and congratulations to you and your husband. May you both find the joy and happiness that has been ours.
Sincerely, Donita Papas