JULY 1, 1954
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I am sure everyone, regardless of party, has been concerned over former President Truman's illness. It is bad enough to have an operation; but then to have it complicated by enteritis is certainly cause for grave anxiety.
I am sure all his friends throughout the country have been wishing him strength and endurance during these trying days. My sympathy goes especially to Mrs. Truman, as will that of all women who so often have the difficult task of sitting by and waiting while their husbands or children battle through serious periods of illness.
I have always been the one who stayed well in my family; and I used to say that I felt it was a mixed joy to be in such good health that you always had to watch over others who were not well. On the whole, however, I am very thankful for the good health which has helped me through so many family crises.
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Last Sunday was a very nice day for the whole family. We all went together to St. James' Church in Hyde Park because our rector was dedicating a little plaque to my mother-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt. We had placed it under the window which she and my husband gave to the church in memory of her husband. It is a very simple little plaque, designed by my niece, Mrs. Elliott, but we all like its simplicity.
The church meant a great deal to my mother-in-law and I think she would have liked having something there in her memory, and would also like having it close to her husband's memorial. She was brought up a Unitarian but became an Episcopalian after her marriage and was a very useful member of the church as long as she lived.
Her only great-grandson who can remember her well is my daughter's son, Curtis, who was there for the dedication. To her other great-grandchildren—my grandchildren—she can only be a name. But to all of my children she was a very strong personality—one they will never forget.
She was a remarkable woman with very strong convictions and complete devotion to her family. This sometimes led to jealousy on her part and to such great concentration on the family that, unless the various members had strong personalities too, they were somewhat swamped and smothered. But fortunately, as the years go by, it is all the good things that one remembers about people and that is something all of us should be very grateful for!
After church the whole family, with some friends, came to my house for lunch. We were twenty in all, with eight youngsters. We talked a great deal about what is going on in the world today, for the Anglo-American conference that was going on in the White House was uppermost in everyone's mind. Policies jointly established between the United States and Great Britain are far stronger than any positions taken by either one as an individual nation.