My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—Late Sunday afternoon at Hyde Park I got the news that my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish, of New York City and Llewelyn Park, N.J., had passed away. She had been ill for a very long time. I had spent last Thursday in Orange, N.J., but had only been able to speak to her for a very few minutes. She had no close family ties and since I was her godchild she befriended me when I was young and I have always been deeply grateful to her and saddened by her long illness.

As far as she is concerned I feel that it is a release from both pain and monotony. There will be friends and relatives who will wish they had been able to do more for her in the last few years, but that was made impossible by the nature of her illness which practically isolated her from those who wanted to be with her.

I shall never forget how kind she was to me through my early life, taking me in when my mother was ill and died; taking me in again when my little brothers had scarlet fever; inviting me to stay with her in the days when my life held none too many enjoyments.

She was extremely strict, and her husband, Henry Parish, who was the most angelic person, used to have to intercede for the younger generation when they did not live up to the high standards which his wife thought we should achieve. We were all devoted to him and as I look back on it, for a childless couple, they were wonderful in what they did for various young people in the family and for the children of their friends.

Since Mr. Parish's death a number of years ago, Mrs. Parish's life has been more lonely and more restricted by illness. She adored Mr. Sumner Welles, whose mother was one of her best friends, and I know that he will be happy that his visit to her last spring was the one thing that gave her real pleasure. I can only be thankful that I returned from abroad in time to go down and spend the day in Orange, and that I am here now to carry out her last wishes which were all carefully given me many, many times.

When one grows old as she was, the mind seems to dwell on the past and on what will happen after one's own departure from this world. She was concerned about the turmoil of the world. It seemed to her that everything was deteriorating and in many ways her anxiety for all the individuals around her was because of her anxiety for the world as a whole.

All one can say is that peace is with her now.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL