JULY 22, 1940
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday I motored down right after breakfast to "Algonac," Newburgh, N. Y., where my mother-in-law, her brother and sister are anxiously watching the life of their oldest sister, Mrs. D. D. Forbes, apparently fade away. She may, of course, rally, because even at 92 a marvelous constitution stands one in good stead. But, as I looked at her yesterday, I could not help feeling that, for her, it would be easier to pass on to a realm where the problems of this world are left behind.
Mrs. Forbes has lived for many years in Paris, and I think the things which have befallen the French nation in the last few weeks have been hard for her to bear. It is true that as one grows older and can look back on varied experiences, one becomes more reconciled and accepts whatever comes in a spirit of resignation. But Mrs. Forbes has always been so young in spirit, that I have felt these latest blows were hard for her to look upon with calmness.
To all the younger members of the family, Mrs. Forbes has been a symbol of how to grow old gracefully and still retain a hold on the interests of youth. Every one of my children is deeply concerned about her welfare, as well as that of their own grandmother, who feels this anxiety greatly.
In the afternoon, we celebrated little Franklin III's second birthday. He had one small cousin at supper with him and the two sat on the south porch of the big house, at a little table which was gaily decorated with yellow paper napkins and tablecloth. On their first meeting, little Leila and Franklin had not been entirely friendly, but this time they had an amicable visit and seemed to enjoy their presents.
We sat up last night until a late hour discussing what kind of a world young people, starting out today, are going to find themselves living. I confess I think a good many of them have had rather poor training for the uncertainties of the future.
It seems to me that whatever may happen, the ambitions of the past and the expectations that life will be as it has always been, have very little justification in fact. These speculations, however, are probably good for us, for every one of us has to go on from day to day meeting the situation as it develops and hoping to find somewhere within ourselves, the qualities and the intelligence to encounter whatever the future may hold in store.
I woke this morning to rain, but it has cleared off now and we are planning on a peaceful day, walking and swimming perhaps. Some young people are coming to lunch and that always means gaiety and much discussion.