I remember you, Mother.
Sometimes, unexpectedly, you invade the little moments of my life, and I remember.
Sometimes, just sometimes, when Sam draws aside the curtains and says, “Good morning, Mr. Frodo”, I hear your voice, faint and far away...
You call as if in my dreams. Within my mind not yet fully fettered to another dark day, I hear your sweet voice calling, “Good morning, Frodo-love. Wake up.” I can almost feel your kiss on my brow and your fingers brushing aside the curls from my face.
And sometimes, just sometimes, when Rosie cooks her special stuffed goose, and the smell wafts through the smial, I can almost imagine it’s you in the kitchen, bustling about and humming that little tune you always used to hum. How did it go? I think we had stuffed goose every Yule, didn’t we? Twelve Yules, twelve geese...though I don’t suppose I actually ate goose for the first few years of my life. Funny...I can’t remember the taste, just the smell, and your hands settling the platter onto the table.
I can’t remember your face so much except by looking at the portrait above the mantle here in the study. But your hands...I remember your hands. Bathing me, dressing me. I remember being ill and your hands - cool and soothing - on my forehead. I remember walking in the fields with my small hand tucked tightly into yours. Your hands always made me feel loved, and safe.
I never feel safe now. I do feel loved...Sam and Rose and little Elanor see to that. But I don’t feel safe. Evil things come for me in the night - and sometimes even in the day. But the nights are the worse. Sometimes I wake Sam with my screams, and he rushes into my room and holds me til I can fight my way out of nightmare and regain some semblance of calm. On the worst of those nights, all I really want is to feel your arms round me again, Mother, to be your little Frodo-love again and be rocked back to sleep, safe and warm.
Sometimes when I fall asleep again I dream of water. Sometimes it’s the River, and sometimes it’s the Sea, with grey gulls crying overhead. The River bore you down to the Sea, perhaps; certainly it bore you out of Middle-earth and out of my life. Someday - soon, I think - I will also be borne away from Middle-earth.
Tell me, Mother, when you left, did you find peace? Will I find peace? I begin to think it is my only hope.
And what then, if I cross the Sea? No matter the peace and healing I find there, no matter the length of days, there is yet another crossing to be made...a passage the Elves cannot take and cannot withhold from me. What lies beyond that shadowed shore? I do not know, but hope for this: that when I make that passage, it will be like awakening out of a sweet sleep. to the feel of your hands on my face, your kiss on my brow, and your soft voice calling, “Good morning, Frodo-love. Wake up.”