FEBRUARY 10, 1945
WASHINGTON, Friday—We left New York City this morning to return to Washington, and almost immediately on arrival I had a meeting in the East Room of the members of the United Service Organizations Women's Committee and the personnel directors of the various government bureaus to discuss the whole question of program and services available to government girls. The rest of the afternoon will be filled with appointments through until dinner time, when I have some very pleasant guests coming to talk about their work.
For the first time in 12 years I have spent a full week in New York City, and I have enjoyed it more than I can possibly tell you. I like my little apartment, with the familiar things which came from my mother-in-law's house as well as ours, and the simplicity of keeping house there is a real joy.
I know quite well that I would not be happy unless I had some regular work to do every day, and I imagine that I will always feel that way no matter how old I am, unless I become completely bedridden. Even then I will probably want to use my mind as long as I retain it! That is probably because I happen to be blessed with good health!
When I come across certain clippings in which the writers worry about the effect that may be had upon an American family who find themselves living in the White House for many years, I always want to suggest to them that some things are a great honor, some things are very beautiful: you admire them and you appreciate the opportunities which they offer you. Never for a moment, however, no matter how long you enjoy them, do they give you the comfort and pleasure of your own home, your own things and your own personal life with which no one has a right to interfere.
A rather wonderful suggestion was made by a woman in a letter which came to me the other day and which she also sent to her newspaper at home. Her idea tunes in very well with Lieut. General Sir William Dobbie's idea in his little book, "A Very Present Help." This woman wants all of us in this country to pray and build up a "prayer bank" for the President, that he may be kept safe from all harm, that he may have wisdom to deal with the questions before him, that he may be guided in his policies and in his decisions.
There is no American family that does not pray for its men at the front many times a day, and I am sure those prayers are wafted across the oceans and give strength in the hours of trial. Why should not the same thing be true if a nation prays not only for its President, but for all its men in authority? They are bearing heavy burdens, subject to the temptations of all human beings. They are asked to rise above those temptations and do a better job for the people than the average man or woman is capable of doing alone. We owe them our help and our prayers.