Volume LIVFebruary 2007Number 1

Elizabethtown Masonic Village Resident
Bro. Carl Walz Shares his Awakening...

Should I take the big step and move to a community far from my roots filled with people in the autumn of life? What's it going to be like moving to a place where everyone is a stranger? After all, I've not been an active Freemason, so what's it going to be like living in a community filled with Pennsylvania Masons? In fact, what's Freemasonry all about, and what is this business of "Brotherhood?" I've asked these questions, and the answers came in a rather unexpected manner.

Well, my wife [Jacqueline] and I moved into a cottage at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown in November 2004. On Jan. 11, 2006, while on a Masonic Village trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, my wife suffered a stroke and was transported by ambulance to Milton Hershey Medical Center. After a very long day in the ER and my wife about to be admitted, I was ready to go home, but had no way to get there. I called a friend and neighbor, and in a very short time, both Ray and Bob came to take me home. The real story begins here.

Bro. Carl and Jacqueline Walz, front, surrounding by friends and neighbors Bro. Robert and Alice Pinnock and Bro. Raymond and Jean Betz

Sitting in the back seat, extremely upset and sobbing at what had happened so suddenly, I thanked my friends for being so supportive in my time of need. "That's what we're all about," came a reply from the front seat. Because of the state of my psyche at that time, it did not really sink in what the reply meant, and only later after a continuum of events did the full meaning occur to me. My wife had some serious neurological problems, and the weeks that followed had many peaks and valleys, but the steadying influence during this very difficult time was the many acts of kindness of friends, acquaintances, staff and others in the village. Can you imagine the Chief Operating Officer calling to offer help? There were many offers of food and libation, six pastoral visits, numerous cards and inquiries and always feeling someone was there to help in a time of need. It was an epiphany for me.

It's very difficult, if not impossible, to meaningfully explain what it feels like as a septuagenarian to discover a better and more fundamental understanding of Freemasonry. It came to me suddenly and unexpectedly. Perhaps one must feel it to even begin to understand it. So, what's it like at Elizabethtown in a community of "strangers?" There are no strangers; only a village of Freemasons filled with the real meaning of the fraternity.

Bro. Walz is a member of Joseph H. Brown Lodge No. 751.

For additional information on Retirement Living at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, including the new Sycamore Apartments to be built adjacent to the Sycamore Square marketplace, please call the Marketing Office toll-free at (800) 676-6452.

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