The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday afternoon the sad news was telephoned to me that my cousin, Mr. Henry Parish, had died very suddenly. When I was young he was always more than kind to me. Mrs. Parish is my godmother and my mother's double first cousin, so she always took great interest in me and in my younger brothers. My brother Hall and I spent many vacation months with them and Mr. Parish did a great deal to teach us to enjoy the out-of-doors.

Later, when I tried to master my own finances, he was patience itself. Though he could never quite teach me the intricacies of double entry bookkeeping, nor make me keep the kind of accounts which he thought were presentable, still he did a great deal to help me manage my own money. I owe him a debt of gratitude, not only for many good times, but for valuable discipline.

In the last years of his life, it must often have been very difficult for him to accept many of the things for which my husband and I stood. Yet he was always sweet to me and ready to offer help if there was anything he could do of a personal nature.

I know that none of us has any idea of how many people he has helped and who have depended upon him, both in a business way and in his private life. None of the people who were close to him will know how much he did for them until they miss the little daily things which he did so unobtrusively. I have rarely known a more disciplined or more unselfish character and I am sure his influence will live long after him.

On Saturday morning I went to New York City and spent several hours with Mrs. Parish, and later caught a train to Washington. Since I took this trip somewhat unexpectedly, I had no reserved seat and felt very guilty for travelling on a weekend. I was more than fortunate to find a seat immediately next to a very nice young man, who was reading a magazine in which was an article by Alexander Dreier.

When I told the young man that I had met Mr. Dreier and we had talked about the situation in Germany, he was very much interested. After he left, a young woman came and sat beside me. She was on her way to see her soldier husband.

It was the longest trip, she told me, that she had ever taken alone. Infantile paralysis at the age of four has left her slightly lame, but it has not dimmed her spirit and her fresh and pretty face. I hope her husband will be as proud and happy to see her as she is in accomplishing her surprise journey.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 29, 1942

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.