DECEMBER 30, 1939
WASHINGTON, Friday —While it seems to have been a very long day, it has all been spent travelling to Winchester, Va., and back again. At 5:30 a.m., my telephone rang and Franklin, Jr.'s, voice said: "I have some bad news for you. Ethel and I cracked up." Cracking up means an aeroplane accident to me, but I knew they had gone to stay with friends in Virginia to go to a dance, and so they must have been in their car. I elicited the information that they were not badly hurt and then decided that I had better refrain from further questions and get up and go to the hospital in Winchester, Virginia. I arrived there at 8:00 o'clock, apparently to the surprise of everyone in the hospital. No one was more surprised that Franklin, Jr., who announced: "I didn't mean to have you come."
After X-Rays had been taken and nothing serious was found to be the matter, we put blankets around them and bundled them into two White House cars and drove back to the White House, arriving at 4:00 p.m. Now they are resting and I hope a few days will see them on their feet again. The Lord was good and we should all be very grateful.
Everyone at the hospital was so very kind, even the people in the waiting rooms were solicitous. One couple was waiting while their little boy had his tonsils out. The man came over to me to say how sorry they were about the accident and then he added: "We had some bad luck too, last week. Our little five-year-old girl stepped in front of a car and was killed. It wasn't any one's fault. I guess these things just happen to all of us." Whereupon his wife broke in and said: "But, Mrs. Roosevelt, we are poor people and when I found I was going to have another baby, I just wondered how we could take care of it. It was just a month old when my little girl was killed and I think God just knew I would need something to take care of to take up my mind."
Such is the faith which makes life bearable for many people whose sorrows otherwise would be overwhelming.
It was fortunate for me that I had planned to go to New York City this afternoon and only had a debutante luncheon here before leaving. My mother-in-law was able to be hostess for this luncheon given for her great-niece, Peggy Houghteling, and I have put off my engagements in New York City tomorrow for some later day when I can fly up for a few hours.
It is wonderful how easy it is to change one's plans when one has someone at the other end of the telephone to do the work. All I did was to telephone Miss Thompson and ask her to do all the arranging. As usual, all I can do in return is to be thankful for the things which everybody from Miss Thompson right through the household has done to make things easier for us. Perhaps I owe my chief thanks to the chauffeur, whom I got out of bed at 5:30 and who came with as cheerful a smile as usual, to meet me at the door at 6:00 a.m.