Jervis McEntee Diaries

Thursday November 25, 1880

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, November 25, 1880, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Thursday, Nov 25, 1880 Thanksgiving Day. It snowed a very little in the night and has been cold but not so cold as yesterday. Calvert and I went over to the cemetery after breakfast as he had not seen the stone at Gertrudes grave. I went to my studio after we returned and after a walk on the Common and built a fire and Calvert came over after a little time and I showed him my pictures. I never know whether he likes anything or not, he seems so afraid to like things. We had our Thanksgiving dinner about 2 o'clock. Girard and Mary and the children were the only ones here except our family and Calvert. Sara was in New York. I thought of dear Gertrude and of the empty seat which can never be filled. I have thought of her all day and after dinner I came to my room and opened the drawer and took out the lock of hair I cut from her dear head after she was dead, now more than two years ago and I looked at it through a thousand sweet and sacred memories of her and I relieved my sad heart with a flood of tears. How I wished for Sara to talk to about her today. No one spoke of her and while I thought of her I could hardly bring myself to speak of her. My mother and I sat and talked after the rest had gone to bed. Poor woman. She is full of anxieties and has to keep up under many discouragements. She dreads my going away. My father sits and reads all evening and it must be very dull here. Dear Gertrude used to find it so, poor child, but never complained but was glad to have me here. I think if we were flourishing it would be different, but it is so hard to live that the very effort seems to exhaust. When I think how much depends upon me and how powerless I seem to do what I ought to do I am about driven mad. I have had a few weeks respite from care and worry but now when I go back to New York I feel that it will all return. I feel very despondent tonight. Dear Gertrude is far from all this trouble. Sometimes I wonder if I could call her back if I could.

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