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 brothers Warren (64) and Ray (58) and Jessie’s grandson Mike (8), the son of their youngest child, Calvin (29), Rev. Miller (their pastor), George Tomes (friend) and Boh Tomes, a co-worker of Jessie’s at Kilpatrick’s.
May 27, 1959 (Wednesday)
“9:50 p.m. I left hospital at 9 o’clock. Daddy was resting good. Dear God, may he sleep and be comfortable through the night. He seems weaker today, just sleeps. Ate fair, God bless him.”
May 28, 1959 (Thursday)
“20 minutes of ten. I left the hospital at 9 p.m. Daddy was all settled. The nurse took out the stitches, gave him a hypo to sleep. I kissed him goodnight, told him I wish I could stay with him. He said ‘crawl in.’ God bless him. I told him I would see him in the morning. He said ‘Are you going to work?’ I said no, I am going to take care of you, then go to work. He said ‘Oh.’ Dear God, you have the power to give life and take life and if it is thy will, heal him. Thy will be done Lord.”
May 30, 1959 (Saturday)
“9:40 p.m. I left hospital about 9 o’clock. Daddy was awake, the nurse was restraining him, hate to see it. Last night he tried to get out of bed. They had a heavy strap on his poor ankle. She took it off when I got there. He is good when I am there, was more alert after our minister Mr. Miller came this afternoon. I was so glad to see him.”
May 31, 1959 (Sunday)
“It is late, 11:30. When I got home from the hospital, a surprise – Warren was over at Agnes’s. I was stunned when I seen him. Didn’t seem right without Daddy around.”
June 1, 1959 (Monday)
“Daddy seems to be about the same – sorta groggy. He ate a good supper, vomited a little. Maybe I pushed him too much. He sat up twice today, didn’t care whether he did or not. He had lots of company. Calvin, Mike, Ray, Warren, Boh & George. He knew Warren this morning, said ‘I’ll be darned.’ I had a letter from Fern Orrell. She had heard about Daddy and will be seeing us in July, maybe. Agnes feels terrible. I hate it so bad. Poor kid, she has such a hard time. Wish Jack would get to come home.”
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.