Here is another posting from my grandmother Jessie Lehmer’s 1959 journal. Jessie kept her journal for at least 29 years. You can find the first post in this series here.
Jessie (age 57) is recovering from a lengthy hospital stay for a sore back and has yet to return to her job at Kilpatrick’s Department store in Omaha. Her husband Harry (age 60, who she refers to as Daddy), a boilermaker’s helper at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, was recently hospitalized with a serious illness.
Other people mentioned this week include Harry and Jessie’s daughter, Agnes Grosvenor (37), who lives across the street with her husband, Jack Grosvenor (40) and their three children – Judy (18), Linda (16) and Jackie (3). Also mentioned are Harry’s brother Warren (64), Dr. McDermott and Dr. Muehlig (Harry’s doctors), and Mr. Smith, another patient in Harry’s hospital room.June 3, 1959 (Wednesday)
“I left hospital at 9 p.m., stopped to see Agnes. I hate to leave Daddy, hurts so. Wish I could be with him all the time. He looks at me so pitiful. He is the same, did have a bad headache this p.m. Nurse gave him a pill, made him sick. Didn’t vomit, tho. He got his sick pay – $102. He was able to sign it, hope it goes thru alright. … Mr. Smith said Daddy got out of bed last nite. He was sick, vomited all over. They cleaned him up, put him back to bed. He was alright. God bless him and watch over him.”
June 5, 1959 (Friday)
“9:45 p.m. I have been home for a while, just got my bed made. Oh so lonely without Harry. I left the hospital at 8:45, he was awake. Was sorta dopey all day. Woke up good after Agnes came, talked more then. Dr. McDermott said he wanted me to stop coming except for visiting hours. I am going to talk to Dr. Muehlig, see if I can’t come as I have been and feed him. The nurses don’t have the time to spend with him and I have.”
June 6, 1959 (Saturday)
“10 p.m. I left the hospital at 8:35, afraid McDermott might come in. I seen Dr. Muehlig. He said he couldn’t do much as far as me staying at the hospital as McDermott was in charge. So it will be regular visiting hours for me from now on. He did say I could bring Daddy home, a lot to consider. Will have to think it over.”
June 7, 1959 (Sunday)
“9:30. I left the hospital early again so McDermott wouldn’t catch me. Daddy isn’t so good today. He pulled the tube out of his bladder last night, must have laid in the mess all day. Bed soaked, such an odor. They cleaned him up when I got there after 4 p.m. They inserted another catheter. It gave him relief as well as keeping his bed dry. He vomited, nurse gave him a hypo so he relaxed. Bless his heart. He is so helpless. … I had a flat tire this a.m., took it to filling station. Couldn’t find anything wrong.”
June 8, 1959 (Monday)
“I planted some gladiolus bulbs. Late, but maybe they will bloom. Warren and I had dinner at Burlington Depot.”
Larry Lehmer is a professional personal historian and chief legacy planner at When Words Matter, Ltd., who connects generations through their stories. To learn more, visit his web site, send him an e-mail or follow him on Twitter.