JULY 17, 1937
WASHINGTON, Friday—I stepped off the train this morning to find it fairly warm in Washington. After breakfast alone on the porch I had a little talk with my husband, and, to my great joy, found letters from both Mrs. James Roosevelt and John, mailed at Gibraltar. The trip seems to be very happy so far and they are finding the Italian boat delightfully comfortable. Mama is, as always, most enthusiastic and John tells me with glee that the captain gave a party for her and that she was the life of the party.
The work seems to be going on very rapidly of changing the roads south of the White House. I can't quite picture to myself yet what it is going to look like, but the landscape people all seem to think it will be a great improvement, and my husband, who has the capacity for visualizing things which are only on paper I am sure has a perfect picture of what we are in the future going to see from the south portico.
It is sad to come back to Washington on such an errand and I do not wonder, when I read of the years that Senator Robinson spent in the Senate, that his colleagues of every party grieve over his loss.
There was a statement in yesterday's newspaper, however, which gave me rather a curious feeling. The gentleman seemed to feel that he was so receptive to information from the Almighty that he knew the reason for whatever might happen on this little planet of ours. What a satisfaction that must be when most of us grope so much of the time to explain the various horrors that occur in the world and finally decide very often that the Almighty leaves us with a good deal of personal responsibility!
It was a very impressive ceremony in the Senate Chamber and the two hymns, "Lead Kindly Light" and "Abide With Me", were sung by a woman with a very sweet voice, and I hope that they brought some comfort to the family, who must be suffering from the suddenness of the shock as well as from the grief which would come to anyone at such a time.
After the service I joined my husband and went in for a minute to talk to Mrs. Robinson. I have always thought her a very remarkable person and her calmness and thought for others at a time like this added greatly to the esteem in which I have always held her. She was surrounded by family and friends, but at such times like this there is a curious feeling that we walk alone. People may want to help us and their love may give us courage, but in the end through all the great moments of life we walk alone. Many people today were sympathising with her and if thoughts can buoy up one's courage, I am sure that she will receive that kind of help at least.