The Best Girl Scout Of The Mall

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By now Daisy knew she was dying. She had had cancer for several years and had undergone a number of operations. When her doctor told her she had very little time left, Daisy asked if she could make a last trip to England to say good-by to old friends and sort out her affairs. He said yes, if she hurried. Using all her remaining stamina, Daisy managed the journey, returning to Savannah with only ten days left to live. Three years before, on the eve of an operation, she had written her sister Mabel about her feelings on death. “I want you to realize … that I am glad to die . I look forward to seeing the parents, Willy Low, and … all the people I have loved and lost. I’ve always dreaded growing old and being a burden to my family. I am very glad to go when I have set my house in order … I have no ties that make parting here on earth an agony.”

Daisy died on January 18, 1927, and was buried wearing her full uniform, the silver fish pin, a jeweled “Thanks” badge from her Scouts, and a telegram in her pocket from the head of the Girl Scouts of America saying, “You are not only the first Girl Scout but the best Girl Scout of them all.”

Daisy once told the story “of a small friend of mine who, at the age of 8 years, prayed every night for a bicycle. On Christmas his mother had placed among his toys a tricycle. He got straight down on his knees and murmured, ‘Oh, God, I did think you knew the difference between a bicycle and a tricycle.’ ”

More than half child herself, Daisy had kept her understanding of childhood throughout her long life. Sympathy with the defenseless dominated the egocentricity, impulsiveness, and hypersensitivity in her complex nature. This sympathy, combined with her sense of humor, made her the gifted midwife that she was.