It's so long since I've talked to you - where shall I begin? There are so many interesting people to write about, and happy little scenes in the drama of life. One of my favorite "pick-up" books is called "Heart Throbs;" it lays on the table in the homey little office of my first Cleveland dentist. It was the only thing to assuage the misery of the dragged-out dental work that first winter in Cleveland. This little book is filled with brief but inspiring anecdotes - little gems - that bring laughter and tears; things that lie close to one's heart. Sometimes I think I would like to write, or rather, gather material for one akin to it - though with not quite such a sentimental title. But think of the stories of magnificent courage that have come out of this war! And the things that wring your heart - such as the death of John McMasters in England. Mrs. Marts, former schoolmate of mine at No. 4 school, mother of Paul and Ila, who were among my first pupils, wrote me last winter about John - how the years of mothering had made him like her very own ... the dread of seeing him go away to war, while yet so young. Think of the anguish of knowing he had to die among strangers! Mr. and Mrs. Marts have grown strong through suffering. I remember when precious little Ila was taken by diphtheria, Mr. Marts said to me, "Her mother and I find consolation in knowing that she went home to God while she was without sin." On cold, stormy nights Mrs. Marts would invite me to stay overnight with them, rather than walk out to A.J.W. Robinson's, my wonderful home for two winters. In Marts' cozy little living room, with its warm base burner, Ila and I would play checkers. Her mind was so quick and keen. Her animated little face reflected every mood. How she played to win! And when she saw that I was winning, she would say, "Oh, let's play give-away!" which reversed the rules; and made her the winner.
Not so long ago, in the Good Housekeeping magazine, there was a plaintive little poem that was the prayer of a little boy. He just hoped there would be fishing in Heaven - that he wouldn't be any good at playing the harp. Well, if we do any of the things over there that we do here (and I believe we go right on where we leave off here) then I would ask for the privilege of playing checkers with Ila again. To you, Ora and Clyde Marts, and to all those who have known deep bereavement, may I pass on the message of our incomparable minister, Dr. Harold C. Phillips? Just last Thursday evening, at our church school meeting he said, "Without the Cross there could be no Christianity. Only those who have borne a cross know true kinship with Jesus Christ."
One of the heart-warming experiences of this past week was our departmental teachers' meeting that followed the dinner meeting and devotions in the small dining room. Our little group went up to the church parlor at 8:30 to discuss our Junior plans and problems for an hour. At 9:40 the teachers were told they were free to go. But every one of them lingered until nearly eleven, to discuss the spiritual problems of teachers and mothers. We opened the inner sanctums of our hearts to each other. I vow there never were such teachers. I took two of them home afterward, and learned that they get so interested in the preparation of their Sunday School lessons that they study far into the night. When my factory work was increased to six full days a week, I despaired of being able to plan interesting worship programs each week. The teachers came to my rescue, and their classes take over one Sunday a month. The children are so eager, that we plan to increase their opportunity to twice a month. "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Can any good come out of sickness? Yes. Anyone who has been ill, or has suffered, is always more sympathetic and understanding of others. I am rather ashamed to confess that I got pleasure out of my son's bronchitis. By that I mean that it was a pleasure to stay home and take care of him. He is the best of patients; and one day of mustard plasters breaks up the congestion. Not all mothers are as selfish as I am. But I like to feel that my children still need me. They grow up so fast! Tommy is still confined to the hospital with yellow jaundice. His case is so stubborn. Friday night, in desperation, he stole out of bed at midnight, telephoned Estelle, and begged her to come to him. She was granted a leave of absence, and left last night for Ft. Leonard Wood. She hopes to stay until she can bring him home.
Now, I never got around to Karl, and Tookie, and Jane - and all the rest of the interesting folks at Warner & Swasey. Shelby continues to be one of the most delightful persons I have known. Since we are "frozen" to our present jobs "for the duration" I am indeed lucky to be frozen to such an interesting job, in such good company. More about our factory folks next time.
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 2/18/43 - Karl, Joe, and Tookie
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