OCTOBER 8, 1937
A very quiet day yesterday for the President, no guests for either meals. He spent the evening looking at the photographs which his mother had brought back as souvenirs from all the various entertainments which had been held for her abroad and hearing her tell of her doings over there.
This morning the telephone rang before eight o'clock and Mr. Aubrey Williams wanted to talk to me. My heart sank, and I was not surprised when he told me that Mrs. Harry Hopkins had died. The sorrows of this nature which come to people in life are always hard, but it seems to me much more difficult to understand when the person who goes is young and much needed in her life. Mrs. Hopkins has a young child and brought happiness to all those around her. I have often watched her expression at informal parties and at formal parties, and been amused by the humor that lurked in her eyes, and realized what a help it must be to her husband to have some one like her to talk to when the hard day's work was done.
I am beginning to reach the age where when things like this happen I wonder why those of us who have finished our jobs more or less, or at least have reached the point where others could do them as well so we would not be much missed, are not the ones to go ahead of youth with a real job still to be done. Perhaps this is what was meant however, when we were exhorted to have faith. Certainly faith is one of the most difficult of virtues.
After a short rain this morning, the day has cleared and in spite of a very busy morning trying to decide where climbing roses will grow, and where trees and shrubs should be planted, I had a very short ride. This afternoon a friend and I will take a drive which will give us a chance to see much of the brilliant color which is now at its height. A few rain storms and many of the leaves will be gone.
I am sorry that I missed seeing the Grand Coulee Dam with my husband. My daughter wrote me that it was really thrilling and it seems to have made the greatest impression from the point of view of interest. I gather from all I hear, however, that to many members of the party the thing which will stand out longest in their minds is the discomfort which they endured at Crescent Lake. I have heard of cold cabins, beds on which the water dripped, sheets which were not dry and I think they probably believe that I knew this was lying in wait for them when I left them that afternoon. Luck was evidently with me, though as a matter of fact I probably would have minded less than many of the others, for I have stood some very uncomfortable camping trips in the name of pleasure!