JULY 21, 1948
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—On Monday afternoon Mrs. James Roosevelt, the widow of my husband's half-brother, died in her home here after a short illness. She had been failing for a long time, and ever since her husband died, it seemed to me, life for her had been more an existence than any active participation that held any real interest in the affairs of this world. She adored her husband. After his death in 1927 we thought we would never arouse her interest in everyday things, but she continued to live in his house up here, and as long as my mother-in-law was alive I think she had some companionship. For a time we were able to get her to come to stay with us in Washington at Christmas time, and she kept up with some of her husband's friends.
The last few years, however, she had been so ailing that her only diversion was a short drive in the afternoons in good weather. She would sit by the hour in a chair near the window. Her one enjoyment was the flowers that were brought in from her garden and greenhouse. She would cheer up somewhat when any of us went to see her, and she seemed to show interest in what we told her.
Before I went out to Phoenix, recently for the wedding of my granddaughter, Sistie, she gave me a wedding present to take to this first member of the younger generation to be married, and showed a great deal of interest in the event. Yet, one felt that it was almost as though she were talking from another world. Now she has passed over to that other world, and one can only hope that the suffering and the sorrow through which she passed here are completely over.
If unselfishness and love of others are traits highly prized in human beings, then Aunt Betty, as all my children called her, will be met with the words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Her stepdaughter, Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson, is here, and some of her children are coming to help Mrs. Robinson with the details that always have to be attended to when a death occurs in the family.
My husband was fond of Mrs. Roosevelt and I shall miss the short visits I was able to pay her now and then. Many of the kind things she did for people in an unostentatious way will long be remembered in this neighborhood, and there will be many of her neighbors to mourn her passing.
Slowly the older generation is disappearing. For us who are left behind it becomes increasingly clear that we are the older generation and that the time we have left should be made to count to the utmost.