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Elizabeth C. Marshall1 to Mrs. Thomas B. Coles
[September 5-6, 1927] [Washington, D.C.]
Dearest Aunt Lot, Sharley & Chottie:
I have thought of you all so much as I have lain here these last two weeks- and no words of mine can ever tell you what a comfort all your letters have been- I have needed all the help & support possible to carry me through the most horrible experience of my entire life- I believe if I had had any notion before hand what it would be like I might not have had the courage to face it—tho’ the doctor says I could only have lived a few months if I had not had the operation-
As Geo- has no doubt written you- the X Ray had entirely failed to show the really serious phase of my case—that is, that the Thyroid was even going down into my chest cavity- So my operation instead of taking 20 minutes, as they had expected, it took two hours–
I was under morphine for five days & nights afterwards.
I had a very close shave the first night—& it was just about 50-50 as to whether my heart could hold out or not- . . .
My days are long now—for Geo’s classes have begun at the War College—& he teaches from 9 A.M. til 4.30 P.M- So he doesn’t get over here til 6 in the evening- I can’t read a word as my eyes feel so weak- so the days are very long- as I cannot move my neck or head- This position day & night becomes very trying- . . .
. . . I hope in a few more weeks to be able to go home- That is my one thought—to get home– Of course I was never able to do one thing towards settling or arranging my house—& Geo. has not tried to do much. He has not unpacked any of the silver & is just sort of picnicing-
I imagine it will be at least Xmas before I will be able to go downstairs but I will be so happy to be alive- I will not be impatient. Towards spring I hope to be very much alive & able to take up life where I left off—
. . . Always your devoted & grateful
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Mrs. Marshall was writing from Walter Reed Hospital. Approximately one-third of this letter is printed here.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 314-315.