APRIL 18, 1945
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Of one thing I am sure. When people's hearts are freed by sympathy and sorrow, it makes them wonderfully kind. I have had evidence of this during the past few days.
My husband's friends and associates have come to assure me of their desire to help me in any way. From all over the country messages poured in, wanting to know how they, the senders, could be of assistance. For the moment, of course, the only people who can actually do something are the people in our secretarial staffs under Mrs. Helm and Miss Thompson's direction. They have worked day and night and will continue to do so until we leave here on Friday. The people who were on my husband's staff, his secretary, Miss Grace Tully, and the others in the executive offices have a terrific mountain of mail to attend to. Up to last night, 25,000 letters alone faced them!
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Also under great strain are the ushers. With the help of the workers who bring a President's family into the White House and take them out again, they have to work on all the details, not only of removing such belongings as we may have, but of getting the White House in order for the President and Mrs. Truman. Then there are the staff of the White House, the housekeeper, Mrs. Nesbitt, and all the employees and their families, who must still carry on despite the people coming in and out. One of the people to whom I am most grateful is Mrs. Mabel Webster, who has been my personal maid ever since I came here and who now finds herself packing from early dawn to dark.
Yesterday I took Mrs. Truman all through the White House. In the years that we have been here I have taken many people through the house, sometimes only in the formal rooms, sometimes on the family floor, very rarely to the attic and the kitchen. I always have a pride in the beauty of the rooms—their proportions, the woodwork, and the historically interesting furnishings, which remain the same no matter what individuals may live here. It was good to find Mrs. Truman so appreciative of the things that I have loved.
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One of my great joys has been in the flowers which were always around us in profusion. When the White House greenhouse was taken down, the other greenhouses in the city still provided us with all that the flower room needed to keep the White House beautiful. Sometimes it was gay, sometimes more subdued, but always the men who worked in that particular department have seemed to love and appreciate the beauty of the job they did. No one will ever be more grateful than I am to all the various people with whom we have been in contact because we lived in this house, and who made life not only possible but pleasant and gracious.