My dearest Elanor,
Not so long ago I swore never to let myself be enslaved again, and never to let anything in the world force me to crawl on my belly in the dust again.
And you, my Starflower, have corrupted me into willingly breaking both of these oaths.
You have me “wrapped around your chubby litte finger” as Merry and Pippin are so fond of pointing out to me. Merry said to me that since you were born, I have been spending more time crawling and crouching on the floor than standing upright, and I believe he may be right in this. What have you done to me, Elanor Gamgee?
You are sitting up now, for the very first time, looking mightily pleased with your new-found talent and gazing up at me as if you expect me to give you some compliment on your invention. You look so funny that I start laughing as I kneel, once again, beside you on the floor of my study, where you have decided to set up your headquarters.
Your head cocked to one side you listen to my laughter with an expression of immense interest, then you clap your hands and burst into delighted giggles also, causing you to prompty fall backwards.
I catch you in my arms before you can even realise that you are falling, and tickle you before you can even consider to start crying. You have forgotten it as soon as I start talking to you.
I prop you up against my leg, and it is then that your gaze falls upon my hand. Slowly you reach out and put your little baby-hand on the stub of my maimed finger.
A wrinkle appears on your smooth forehead as you look from my hand to your own.
Then you look up at me, straight into my eyes, and an unexpected knife stabs me in the heart as I see your earnest expression and read a question in your eyes. I dread the day on which you shall be capable of asking it.
I stand up so suddenly that you fall over once again, and this time, sunken in my own dark thoughts, I am not quick enough to catch you. For a moment you lie on your back, looking shocked, then you start sobbing.
My thoughts turn back to the present once more at that sound, and my maimed hand releases the white jewel around my neck.
I pick you up and cradle you in my arms, singing sofly in the Elven tongue. Your crying ceases immediately, and you look at me in silent wonder, seeming to absorb every word and movement of my lips. I look down at you and smile gently.
As my song ends, your eyes close slowly. With a content sigh you fall asleep in my arms.
Oh my Starflower. Such a wonder you are. So small, so young, so new. The fairest flower in your father’s garden, and the brightest star in my night.
But one little star, bright though it is, cannot drive away the darkness that is in me.
My night is endless here, Elanor, and though it is illuminated by starlight, I need to feel the sun on my face again.
But there is no dawn for me now.
I know what I must do, though it pains me. But there is no other way.
You are what I fought for, flower of my heart. The thought that I will never see you grow up, fills me with grief. But you can do it without me, and I will be content knowing that you are alive somewhere, though I cannot see you in the waking world again.
You shall be the fairest maiden in the Shire, I am certain, and the pride of your father. And I, too, shall be proud of you.
You will have no memory of me, but I will always, always remember you.
Look for me in your dreams, Elanor.
With never-ending love,
Frodo waited until the ink had dried on the parchment, then carefully folded it and put it in an envelope, sealed it and thrust it in his breast-pocket. Then he called Sam to his study.
It was time.