My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—The drive over to Miss Lillian Wald's is becoming so familiar to me that the two hours which it takes seemed to fly, and Miss Cook and I arrived there half an hour before we had announced ourselves. There was Miss Wald, however, having talked Henry Street business with a luncheon guest, ready and anxious to see us and looking as bright and cheerful as possible.

Miss Wald showed us some kodaks taken of a Henry Street nurse who is caring for a couple that had met and married while in a hospital. He was an elderly man in a wheelchair, she had lost an arm, but had a lovely voice and he heard her sing in the ward, fell in love with her and in spite of practically nothing to live on, they are married and live in a little apartment on one of the most unfashionable avenues. In spite of the business of life, there seems to be time among their neighbors for kindliness. The man does the house work from his wheel chair with what little help his wife can give him. They cannot go out, but they sit by the window and drop a little string down with a note to the floor below and a neighbor does whatever needs to be done outside the house. A Henry Street nurse comes in occasionally to have an eye to them. Two people whose paths in life crossed rather late, who knew what hardship was, and grim unhappiness, are ending their days with the light of love to make bearable any of the little material sacrifices which must be made.

Miss Wald told me the story and looked up with a most delightful smile saying: "A pretty story, isn't it?" She meant more than pretty however, for deep down in her heart she still carries the interests of every one of the people who touch Henry Street. She also told us the story yesterday of some of the young people who had lived in the Settlement House in the old days, and one dramatic little incident when a youngster was blackballed from one of the clubs because of his nationality, and she had succeeded in making the other youngsters see what an unfair thing they were doing. They rescinded their action, took him in and he proved one of their most popular members.

I rode this morning in spite of gray skies, fort the sun seems to have decided to show himself to us on very rare occasions. My swim in the pool last evening was as cold as possible because the sun has shone so little during the past few days. I only hope it will warm up a little now, or my husband who is at last arriving tomorrow morning, will have very little chance to swim.

Everything is being made ready for "The President." Even a man who has been drawing some clay from a place back in the woods, told me today he wanted to get through before the President arrives! I am afraid he can't do it, but it is a laudable spirit which tries to have everything in apple-pie order for his arrival.

E.R.
TMsd 26 August 1937, AERP, FDRL