My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—Back in Washington at seven-thirty this morning to be met by a fine rain and a temperature which is really more like April than February. The weather makes little difference however, to me today for I shall only go out in a car. At eleven I went to the last of Mrs. Townsend's musical mornings. Cassaaelo played the cello and Madame Lottie Lehman sang and it was a rare treat.

From there, to the lunch given by the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy at which they presented me with the emblem of the Society. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Charles Edison, and I had a nice talk. He was as nervous about bringing the greetings of the Secretary of the Navy and the Navy Department as I was about making a speech, so both of us tried to forget what was about to happen to us and I for one succeeded.

A letter came from North Little Rock, Arkansas, the other day which paints the picture of a woman's life so well that I am going to quote a part of it to you today.

"I was a business woman until I had to choose between my work and a sick husband... He is on the infirmary ward where he has sat or lain for years. I have given up home, old friends, and have come here on a one way ticket. I am happy to say that despite his N.M.C., I am able to give him his flowers while he is living, and I can keep him still knowing `he is still God's gift to an otherwise very lonesome woman... I am fortunate in that we had no children. In this hospital we have over nine hundred and by summer there will be six hundred more beds... My work is all rehabilitation and I have always been able to take care of my own self-rehabilitation... I just have to let each day take care of itself and stay put.

"I always have a good book near and my knitting nearer. I knit all my clothes and an the envy of my wealthier and lovely friends. On my daily visits to see my baby I keep my eyes on my knittin, or I read to him or them... I hope I have not bored you with my explanation of why I have to live so restricted a life. My income permits me to have my own home. So many others of the patients' wives have to live in other people's homes and look on a visit to my quiet, well regulated secluded home as a sanctuary. I call it 'Our no man's land'. My radio means so much to me. Tour too brief resume of Idiot's Delight meant so much to me and I am glad I've lived so that I could meet myself at the end of the road...Here in Arkansas we have become web-footed but we shall never be lame ducks. I came home in the rain and am Gone With the Wind." She signed her name but she might not want to see it in print. I wonder if it will give you the picture that it gave me of a courageous soul, who could carry her burden and give cheer by the way?

E.R.
TMsd 8 February 1937, AERP, FDRL