MARCH 27, 1942
CHICAGO, Thursday —Last evening, before I left my daughter's home, we celebrated very gaily at a joint birthday party. My eldest granddaughter and my son-in-law, John, were born on the same day, and so they share their birthday festivities. Sistie is fifteen, which has always seemed to me a very important birthday.
I felt I was as old at fifteen as I have ever been since. The autumn of that birthday, I left my grandmother's and went abroad to a school and was more independent during the next three years than I have ever been since. As I look back on those three years, I think that I learned and matured more mentally in that time than in any other period of my life. To me, of course, today my granddaughter seems far younger than I was at her age. Yet, I imagine that, given the same responsibility, she would be quite as capable of coping with whatever circumstances arose.
On my fifteenth birthday, my grandmother gave me a ring which had been given to her on her fifteenth birthday. She had given it to my mother at the age of fifteen and after my mother's death, put it away and kept it for me. When Anna was fifteen, I gave it to her, and yesterday she gave it to her daughter. That is really quite a record I think, for things seldom go through five generations without being lost somewhere along the line.
I took the plane for New York at 8:30 last night with the promise that the weather was "routine" all the way. I always receive that news with satisfaction and am very glad when it proves true. On this trip, on the whole, the weather has been remarkably smooth whenever I have been flying, though we did have a few little "bumps" on the way into Los Angeles over the mountains. I was very happy to leave my daughter this time in her home instead of a hospital. Though she will have to be careful for a little while, she is certainly on the road to complete recovery.
I have read a good deal on this trip and talked to a number of people, which I always find interesting.
It was sad news to read of two more of our destroyers being lost. I can not bear to think of the many women whose hearts ache for the boys and men who are lost with each of these ships; as well as any one of the airplanes that fail to come back from a raid, or that crash somewhere in this country or in foreign parts. These days are terrible ones for the men themselves and for the women who wait at home for news. So many of the boys are very young and, under ordinary circumstances, would have their whole lives still before them. I wonder if women in every country are making up their minds that out of this war there shall come some kind of permanent peace.