My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Monday—I stopped yesterday afternoon to see some friends of mine who have not had a very easy time the past few months. The man has lost part of one foot. Sometimes the pain leaves him entirely and he does not limp, and sometimes he endures acute suffering. No one looking at his face can doubt he has suffered, for the lines of pain are deep.

There are two small children in this family, and the oldest one, a boy, must be between five and six years old. When his mother told him that his father could not work and they must be careful of their money for a time, which meant he could only have ice cream on Sundays, he acquiesced solemnly. From that time on, she said, he would protest if they ever tried to buy ice cream on any weekday. Which shows what can be done with youngsters if you give them a feeling of responsibility.

When one suffers, one must, if possible, keep busy, so, in his spare time, this man has been making models of ships. He had one of a sailing ship which must have taken endless hours of work, but which is really a most satisfactory achievement. I am sure anyone interested in ship models would enjoy seeing it.

I listened last night on the radio to the concert given by Hans Kindler's orchestra in Washington at the water steps. The music was lovely and it must have been a beautiful sight.

I only hope it is as cool in Washington as it has been here, for the last few days. It may inspire everybody to deliberate more calmly over whatever they do. I thought when I talked to my husband today that he sounded very cheerful. I always know that in summer the climate is responsible for everybody's attitude of mind.

The birds in my cedar tree flew away this morning. One of them hovered for a while outside of my window, just as though he were saying goodbye, and now the nest is empty.

A letter has come to me from the Church Committee for China Relief. This committee is composed of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, the Foreign Missions Conference of North America and the China Famine Relief, U.S.A., Inc. They enclose a most beautiful poster made for their appeal by the distinguished artist, Leonebel Jacobs.

The amount they say will feed a Chinese child for a year seems unbelievably small. When war is going on, I think it is the women and children in both belligerent countries who suffer the most. All possible resources go into looking after the men at the front and the poor, who are never perhaps very well off, are worse off than they would otherwise be. Those of us who are at peace, should do what we can to alleviate the suffering of those who do not fight, but who nevertheless reap the results of war.