NOVEMBER 26, 1945
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I have received from the Chairman of Maternity and Child Welfare in Southampton, England, a letter in which she wishes to thank the women of the United States who, she writes, "have sent us such wonderful parcels of clothes for our wee, small strangers who were making their appearance in a world that was very cruel through the ravages of war."
"During the bombing periods," the letter continues, "we took 2,300 mothers to emergency hospitals in the country. And did not lose one mother in childbirth. That, we feel, is a remarkable record, especially as some of these expectant mothers had nowhere to sleep but in underground shelters previous to their evacuation. Many babies were born under heavy fire and bombing, but one and all of the mothers received their sweet little parcel of baby clothes with a smile, and, of course, perhaps a few tears. These mothers were at this time very near the mothers of the U. S. A. who had sent such wonderful gifts, and I can tell you not only material, but also psychological benefits resulted because someone was thinking of them in their suffering."
I hope many of the women who did this fine piece of work will read these words and feel gratified that they were able to give such comfort and joy. What a world it must have seemed into which these mothers were bringing defenseless human beings! Pray God we will learn to safeguard these babies from similar suffering in the future.
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I have been up in the country since last Wednesday afternoon and, except for the heavy rain on Thanksgiving morning, we have had the most beautiful weather.
My husband always loved all celebrations and family gatherings. He liked to include old and new friends, particularly if he thought they were far away from their own country and friends. During the last war, when our children were quite young in Washington, I remember his inviting the British Ambassador, Lord Edward Gray and his colleague, Sir William Tyrell, for Christmas dinner and our children's Christmas tree.
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Only one of my sons was at home for this Thanksgiving, but we kept up the old customs and thought with gratitude of our many blessings. How much more most of us get from life than we really deserve. And how fortunate it is that though most human beings are often punctilious about seeing that their fellow men get their just deserts, Providence—or, as our ancestors used to say, "the hand of the Lord"—is often much lighter and kinder than some of our fellow men.
As I look back over the years, I think that I am most grateful for the fact that my husband earned and deserved the love and respect of his countrymen. He cared greatly about his fellow men and they returned his concern with a full measure of affection.