Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
WE CANT EVEN DIE FOR OURSELVES ALONE
This m6rning while my little nurse
was getting me ready, to move I in
advertently said something about it
being rather useless to go to all this
care to take me over to dear Mrs.
"I am sure it will only be for a lit
tle while," I said.
"So am I sure," she answered. I
saw by her face she was thinking of
my recovery, while I was thinking
only of death as the end. I took a
"Alice (my little nurse has become
my friend and I call her by her
name) , I feel it would be wrong not
to tell you of the decision I have
made. I am not giving up yet, but
I am going to reserve the right to end
it all if I find the burden getting too
"Dear Mrs. Waverly, not for a mo
ment must you harbor such thoughts.
You are going to get well. Please
don't lose your courage. Let me tell
you something which kept me from
sending myself out into the dark
when it seemed to me my burden
was too heavy.
"At the hospital where I was in
training the superintendent was one
of the most wonderful women I have
ever known. She was mother, friend
and advisor to every young nurse in
the schooL She never seemed to
have lost her humanness, which so
many nurses and doctors lose. I
loved her as only a lonely girl can
love a woman she admires and pat
terns after. If she had lived I would
have gone to her with my trouble
and probably have been saved the
public disgrace at least
"In my third year at the hospital
I began to notice the growing weak
ness of the superintendent and one
day she asked me if I would help
nurse her through her operation.
" 'My dear,' she said, 'I am going
tomorrow on the operating table and
I may not come off alive.'
"I was heart-broken when I heard
a little later that she was suffering
from cancer of the stomach and it
was feared it was too late for the
operation to do more than alleviate
some of the pain until the end.
"That evening the surgeon who
was going to operate told me she
had said, 'Doctor, I am going to sub
mit to this operation because you and
your staff want me to, but I warn
you that if the malady comes back
and I have the old racking pain I
am going to make an end and go to
" 'I do, not think this cowardice,'
she continued, 'for you, as well as I,,
know that with the return of the
trouble death in most horrible form
is only a question of time. I have
tried to do all I can for suffering hu
manity and now I think I owe it to
myself to save myself from as much
suffering as possible.'
'"What did you say to her?' I
asked the doctor whom I suspected
of more than a passing admiration
for this lovely woman.
" 'I said,' he answered, 'I think you
are right, Miss Katon. I believe if
I were in your condition I would
probably do the same thing if I
coukr;' and then I asked, 'How large
is the graduating class of nurses this
" 'One hundred and forty,' she an
swered. " 'Will your classes average that
" 'Not quite, but I think I can safe
ly say they will average a hundred.'
" 'Every one of the girls look up
"She looked up with grateful eyes,
'I think so, I hope so.'
" 'Well, suppose you carry out your
intentions and end it all, don't you.,
think that among all those girls there
will come times to many when they
will feel their burden too heavy.
These girls will say to themselves,