February 24, 2016

My Day

Slowly but surely https://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/browsebyyear.cfm>the Eleanor Roosevelt My Day Columns have been transcribed and put on line.  Frankly, I’m fascinated by them, and today – after a struggle to access the pages – finally was able to read a few entries.

She wrote from New York on September 6th,
“One never realizes beforehand what a busy day really means!  My plane was late in leaving Washington yesterday morning for Pittsburgh, Pa., so I was a little late all through the day.  It made me feel like a small dog chasing his tail”

Just days from the 6th, her mother-in-law dies, and she writes a series of entries that carefully tell us about Mrs. Roosevelt senior’s personality in a most tactful manner.  Anyone who has read the Roosevelt histories knows that the elder Mrs. Roosevelt had a strong and determined personality.  She’s the mother-in-law who bought two town houses in New York.  She then cut doors between each floor so she had full access at all times to her son’s home.

My mother would never have stood for that.  She too had a very strong personality.  I had spent the first 18 years of my life unable to please this intense person, and it was with great joy I joined the army. …and moved far, far away.  Eleanor Roosevelt’s daughter Anna never felt that she could please her mother either.  In her father’s later years there developed an intense rivalry between mother and daughter.  Anna was the one bringing bad tidings to her mother about FDR, and that worsened the drama between the two ladies.

My mother changed her nick-name to Maggie after she married her last husband Bob.  Like Anna, she reinvented herself several times always fiercely doing life her own way right to the very end.  On the last day, she was in the hospital with renal failure.  When she asked for ice cream, she was told she couldn’t have it.

“What does it matter now,” she told them crisply.  She ate the ice cream, laid down for a nap, and died. 

Only years later, feeling somewhat as Anna might feel, I grew resentful against a mother taking a daughter’s nick name…..for we were both Maggies.  I got over it quickly, but sometimes I remember.


  • Himself:  Foods are sitting very well now….and we are both pleased.  Last night was Taco Tuesday…and we were off to celebrate our 21 years with a couple of taco’s at the Brigantine with a couple of friends.

  • Herself:  Another five pounds…tho I hesitate to say anything that might break this winning streak….or loss streak.

  • Reading:  Rereading Philip Craig.  I like the people he wrote about.  No Longmire's in either local library.

  • Gratitudes:  Today I’m very grateful for losing weight.


    1. You are looking wonderful, empowered and strong.

      It sounds like you are on a journey of discovery, learning about your mom and yourself as a result. Such a journey can be difficult but so worth it when you arrive at the self knowledge that awaits.

      Your mom reinvented herself but maybe it was her authentic self that she really needed to find. That is the real challenge for most of us.

    2. Congrats on the weight loss. Love the pic. Maybe will get to meet you in person some day.

    3. You also have a strong and magnetic personality. And I love you for that.

    4. Keep doing what you're doing. You look good and I hope you are feeling good as well.

      Those relationships with our mothers take some work and I wonder if they can be resolved or if the some kind of acceptance is the only best hope.

    5. On the bright side, you haven't tried to kick any grand children off the stern of a boat at sea.

    6. Attitude of gratitude. Happy to her she ate the ice cream before she died. Good for her. David just called from'The AA Club' to tell me he loved me and thanks for breakfast. All I did was cut a grapefruit in half. He siad someone there knew is name and he was amzed. He's celebrating next week because he says the meeting today is closed.

    7. Good going on the weight loss. Like Celia said, You're looking good! I love this photo of you and G. Nice... Hugs me

    8. I love that photo of the both of you too. You look so happy and that feeling is infectious.
      Ice cream seems a happy way to leave this life.
      It's amazing how hurt you suffered and thought you got over can come back to stab you every so often.


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


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