The Road Goes Ever On

by Lizmybit

Chapter One; The Great Decision

It was March of 1421, shire-reckoning of course, and the shire was in the midst of the second most beautiful spring it had ever known thanks to Sam's hard work and Galadriel's gift.The Mallorn tree in the party field was quite tall now. Its silver trunk and long golden leaves shone like jewels in the sunlight. People were amazed at how much it had grown in just one year. Miraculous, some called it while some Hobbits like Mr. Sandyman just squawked
"It just Ain't natural, no good can come of Elven magic trees."  Most Hobbits just ignored him though, "Tis a true Miracle what Mr. Samwise has done to the Shire they'd say.   Sam, held out a secret hope that next year they might again have another party of special magnificence for Frodo and Bilbo's birthday. Sam was constantly trying to think of things that might cheer his master up. He was always withdrawn and melancholy and spent far too much time inside working on writing his book.
 "He needs to get outside in the fresh air more", Sam thought to himself.

Life had taken on normalcy again in the Shire and that's the way the hobbits liked it. Apart from the trees being shorter, Bag Shot row having both new buildings and a "new" name and an occasional glimpse of Merry and Pippin riding by in all their "finery" life was quiet again.

Sam Gamgee had Married Rosie Cotton in March of 1420 and they moved into Bag End with Frodo. Sam liked this arrangement quite well. He had the two dearest people in his life living under the same roof, and he could take care of Master Frodo. Something that Sam was certain Frodo could not accomplish on his own.

Things were getting on just great at Bag End. Sam and Rosie were expecting their first child at the end of this month. There was much excitement and a constant stream of visitors in and out of the Smial. Frodo was sure that Sam would just burst with pride any day now. Frodo didn't mind all the visitors though and he tried to stay out of Sam and Rosie's way as much as possible. He wanted them to feel that Bag End was their home too.  Frodo had even gone as far as spending a month up at Crickhollow with Merry and Pippin for Yule, partially to give Sam and Rosie time to be together and in part to have some time to himself. He found the days were growing longer and longer and could not seem to find real rest anywhere.

He had hoped that his trip to Crickhollow would be a nice change of pace. However, it just left him feeling emptier. He felt strangely alone even in the midst of friends. Sam had Rosie, Merry and Pippin were still young and loved to talk about the "Glory days" and had each other for companionship.  Frodo felt very alone but tried his best to hide it.He returned to Bag End in Early February and life went on much as it had the past year. One Mid-March day Sam and Rosie sat at the Kitchen table discussing the arrival of the baby and eating breakfast. Frodo entered the kitchen and sat down. He did not look well. He was pale, drawn and looked tired.
"Good morning Mr. Frodo" Sam quipped trying to hide his concern.
"Good morning Sam, Good morning Rosie" Frodo managed to smile although he looked as if it  pained him to do so.

"Let me get you some tea Frodo" Rosie said.
"No I'm all right Rosie but thank you".  "It is I who should be serving you, seeing as the condition you're in. Its only a few days now till the baby comes now right?" said Frodo.
Rosie responded with a smile but could not hide her concern for Frodo. Sam jumped up from the table and said
"if anybody's to be waitin' on anyone...I'm the one to be doin' the waitin" Sam stopped short in his tracks when he realized what he just said didn't make much sense. Rosie giggled and Frodo smiled and said "that's our Sam" Not wanting to be out done by anyone.
" Really Sam I'm fine please don't trouble yourself. I don't feel much like tea this morning. In fact I think I will just go lie down for awhile."
Frodo moved to stand up steadying himself with his right arm on the table, it seemed his left arm was just about useless anymore.  As he let go of the table and turned to go, his knees went weak and his legs buckled. Reaching out for the table to steady himself he missed and grabbed the tablecloth instead.  He collapsed on the floor in a heap, dishes and cups crashing all around him.

"Mr. Frodo" cried Sam, nearly dropping the boiling teakettle on the floor. He set the kettle down and rushed to Frodo's side. Picked Frodo's crumpled body up off the floor and laid him in his lap. Sam was crying, Rosie was beside herself not knowing what to do. Sam just sat there holding Frodo and rocking him back and forth.
"What's happening? What's wrong with him?" asked Rosie.
Just then Frodo began to speak " Sam...Sam where are you".
"I'm here Frodo" Sam Replied through his tears.
"Sam I can't see you darkness, there is darkness everywhere."
"I'm here Mr. Frodo right here" It was then Sam realized Frodo could not hear him.
"It's so cold Sam they have taken everything, everything do you understand
"Wraiths Sam flying overhead they will see us, they will kill us. There is no hope we will die here together."
"Sam I'm too heavy, you can't carry me all the way up the mountain."

"I am sorry my friend, Sorry for all that I have done to you. It is gone forever...All is dark and empty. Oh Sam".
Frodo was now quiet as he lay limply in Sam's arms his face was deathly pale and his breathing became labored. Sam Gently picked him up, his lifeless left arm was dangling at his side and it was cold as ice.
"Please get some hot water bottles ready" Sam said to Rosie and he carried his beloved Frodo down the hall to his bedroom.
Sam and Rosie sat by Frodo's bedside for most of the night. "Should we call the healer?" asked Rosie.
"No" Sam replied "there is nothing he could do. Gandalf told us he would never be fully healed of his wounds."
"Oh how I wish I could take this burden from him"
He said as he gently held Frodo's cold lifeless hand. The hot water bottles didn't seem to be helping Frodo and Sam was growing more concerned by the minute. After what seemed like an eternity Rosie spoke up.
 "Sam, What happened to Frodo, and to you for that matter.You have never really spoken about your trip I know that something dreadful has happened to both of you, too often I see you struggling on in darkness yourself."
"I am your wife won't you share your burden with me? I want to help."

Sam looked deeply into Rosie's tear stained face and took her into his arms.
"I am so sorry lass, I wanted to share with you so many times the details of our journey but they were too horrible to mention." "I did not want to trouble you." I can see now that I was wrong, very wrong." In my trying to protect you I can see that I have only alienated you." 
"If you are ready to listen I am ready to share."  And with that Sam began to recount for Rosie the details of the great quest.

The next morning Frodo awoke in his bed, cold water bottles surrounded him and the fire in the fireplace was now just a pile of glowing embers.  "How did I get here He thought to himself" then the events of yesterday came flooding back.  'How he must have frightened Sam and Rosie" he thought to himself."  It was still early and perhaps Sam and not started breakfast yet.  Frodo wished to do something for Sam for a change.  He got up and quickly got dressed his left arm was much better today he could actually move it and it was warm again.

The House was quiet and still, Sam and Rosie were still sleeping and Frodo was glad.  He went into the kitchen and began preparing breakfast.  It would not be as fine of a meal as Sam would cook but it would be good.  He made sausages, eggs, fried mushrooms and tried to make scones but they turned out to be something of a disaster.  Just as he was preparing to place the food on the table and go call his "family" Sam cam busting into the kitchen.  
"Mr. Frodo what on the shire are you doing?!"  "up and cookin' breakfast and just bein' sick yesterday and all!" You sit down right now and let your ol' Sam fix breakfast. "
With that Sam gently walked over and took Frodo's left arm in is hand and looked at it grievously.  He smiled when he realized that it was warm and that the color had returned to it.
"I'm fine Sam" replied Frodo smiling.  "I feel quite all right today Sam I promise."  Sam just stared into Frodo's big
blue eyes trying to see if he was really all right."
 With that Rosie walked into the kitchen.  She placed her hand on Frodo's shoulder
"Don't mind Sam" she said Sometimes I think he was born to be more of a mother than I was" She and Frodo laughed and Sam Smiled even though he knew they were laughing at his expense.   "You gave us both quite a scare yesterday Frodo" she said  "I am glad to see you are feeling better today"
"Yes Rosie I feel just fine today Thank you."  And with that they sat down to the meal Frodo had prepared.

The next week was a very exciting one and a day that Frodo shall remember forever.  He was sleeping early in the morning when Sam burst into Frodo's room screaming "it's Time!!!"  Good grief thought Frodo it's awfully early to be having breakfast and you don't need to shout about it.  Then Frodo realized what Sam was talking about.  The baby!  The baby was coming!  
"Oh my goodness its time!!"  Shouted Frodo who rushed out into the parlor.
 "Sam, Sam where are you??  Sam" Frodo shouted again.  Then Sam rounded the corner and ran tight into Frodo the two of them sprawled out on the parlor floor.  "What do we do now" cried Frodo?  
"I guess I'll go get the midwife" shouted Sam.
"I'll go get her said Frodo and for Goodness sake stop shouting you'll frighten Rosie."  With that Frodo grabbed his old brown coat and headed out the door, not even realizing he was still in his nightshirt.  Frodo returned fifteen minutes later with the midwife and he and Sam were promptly escorted out of the bedroom.  After what seemed like days, although it was only hours they heard a tiny cry coming from the bedroom. 

The midwife came out and told Sam "It's a fine little girl, you may go in now" Sam stood up swelling with
pride and entered the bedroom.  A few minutes he reappeared and asked Frodo if he wanted to meet his daughter , Frodo wanted to more than anything.   He walked into the room and there lay Rosie cradling in her arms the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  He bent down to get a close look. 
Rosie said "would you like to hold her?"  Frodo just stared as Sam picked the baby up and placed he in Frodo's arms.  
"We had been fixn' an calling him Frodo but it's not a him it's a her and now we don't know what to name her.
"How about Elanor.  Sam you remember that beautiful flower we saw in Lothlórien."
And It was Settled the First born child of Samwise Gamgee and Rose Cotton was named Elanor.

The next few months went by quickly.  Sam and Rosie settled into a busy life of taking care of little Elanor they didn't notice much that Frodo began to grow more distant and that he had started giving away a lot of his things.  One day a letter came in the mail for Frodo and Rosie noticed that it looked like it was written in Elven characters.  She didn't pay much attention to it however after all hadn't Mr. Frodo been traveling all over Middle Earth.  He lots of friends and many of them Elves.   She never gave it another thought.

About mid-September the fourteenth to be exact Frodo approached Rosie and said he had something he wanted to talk to her about.  He was leaving, he was going to sail away on the great white ship to the Undying lands.  He was telling her because he wanted Sam to journey with him to the Grey Havens.  He was not going to tell Sam where they were going until they got there.  It would be too painful and he knew Sam would try to change his mind.  He wanted to leave something behind for Rosie to give to Sam when he returned.  He had a letter for Sam and wanted to know if she would give it to him.

 "She replied with tear in her eyes "of course".  "But why Frodo, Why do you have to leave us?"  Frodo tried to make her understand that he just couldn't stay.  He was getting sicker every year.  Every October and March the illnesses
became worse.  If he stayed much longer he would surely die.  He had to leave in hopes of finding peace and wellness.

With that Rosie Grabbed Frodo in a tight embrace and Frodo handed her an envelope.

Frodo then went through his papers and set things in order.  He handed Sam the keys to Bag End and the big red book.  "It's your job to finish the book" said Frodo.  "My chapters are done."
The next week Frodo and Sam set off on what would be their last journey in Middle earth together.   It was a nice journey and Frodo knew that he would hold the memories of this trip with Sam in his heart forever.

At the Grey Havens Frodo kissed Merry, Pippin and lastly Sam.  He had not the heart to say what he felt he needed to.  He just turned and quickly boarded the Ship never looking back.

Sam, Merry and Pippin rode home together quietly.  None of them talking much at all Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland and Sam to Bag End.  When he arrived he tied up Bill the pony and went inside.  Rose met him at the door, ushered him to his place at the table and placed little Elanor in his lap.  She then pulled out an envelope and handed it to Sam.  He instantly recognized Frodo's firm flowing script on the envelope.  He opened it up and read the following words.

My dearest Sam,
I do not know where to begin this letter. The top is always a good place I
guess so I'll start there.

Sam Chuckled as he thought of Frodo saying those words.

Sam, You will always be the dearest and most precious thing in my life.  You
were my light in the darkness, my calm in the storm, my anchor in the sea.  I
can never begin to thank you enough for being my companion on life's journey.
 You are the true Ring bearer you are the true "savior of Middle earth".  I
meant it when I said "Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without Sam."

I leave you now to have a wonderful life.  Please do not worry about me I
know I will be fine.  I want you to be whole and happy for always.

I hope that someday not too far in the future you will be able to join me on
the other side.
I will be waiting for you Samwise the brave.

I love you my Brother,


And with that Sam closed the letter placed it back in the envelope, held Elanor and thought to himself "Samwise the brave"

Chapter Two ; New Beginnings

Frodo stood upon the bow of the Ship staring into the cold gray water. His mind drifted back to the day that he left Merry, Pippin and his beloved Sam standing on the shores of the Grey Havens. Had it only been yesterday? It seemed like a lifetime ago. He missed them already and he wondered how he was going to make it with out them. Especially Sam. Beautiful, sweet, endearing Sam. He was a friend that Frodo knew he would never find the likes of again. Not even in the company of the Elves would Frodo hope to find the kinship he had had with Sam. Sam was a true kindred spirit. Frodo knew that Sam was devastated at their parting. Frodo wished it could have been different. He wished that he could have remained in the shire. He longed to have been able to walk the gardens of Bag end, teach Sam and Rosie's children, of which Frodo was sure they would have many, their letters, as Bilbo had done for him so many years ago. Most of all would have loved to settle down and grow old with Sam, Merry and Pippin however, it was not meant to be.

He remembered his words to Sam that last night in the shire before they came to the Grey Havens, "I have been too deeply hurt Sam" he wondered if Sam truly understand the reason he was leaving for the Undying Lands. Frodo was deeply wounded by knife, sting, tooth and heavy burden and could no longer find comfort in his life in the shire. He wondered if his heart and soul would even find rest and healing in the Undying lands.

Just then Frodo heard voices from inside the ship as the elves broke into song. He listened for a moment and heard the following words;

To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,
The voices of my people that have gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling,
In Eressëa, in Elvenhome that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!

He was reminded of the day that he heard Legolas recite those words in the land of Ithilien in joyous first few days of the New Year. At that moment there was still so much hope. The world seemed new and different and at that time he still held out some hope of returning to the shire and leading a normal life.

As he listened to the beautiful fair voices of the Elves singing his spirits were lifted within himself. After all he was going to Valinor. He was one of three non-mortal beings in all middle earth who were being allowed to make the great journey and dwell in the Blessed Realm. He felt very lucky indeed.

Just at that moment he heard footsteps behind him he turned and saw Bilbo and Gandalf approaching. Gandalf placed his hand on Frodo's shoulder and Bilbo his arm around his waist. They both seemed to sense what Frodo was thinking. They stood there for a long time not saying anything just staring out at the waves, feeling the salty sea air on their faces. Gandalf was the first to break the silence.
"Frodo, do you remember when we were traveling home from Rivendell and you were in pain from the wounds of your journey? You said to me that you were weary and did not know where you would find rest."
Frodo replied, "yes Gandalf I remember."
"Here in the lands of Valinor and Eressëa you shall find your rest. You shall at last be healed of your wounds. You shall once again be new and wholly yourself. You have a long life to live yet my dear boy and you shall find peace, comfort and healing here."
Frodo just smiled and thought to himself "I hope he's right".
Just then Bilbo spoke up saying "You know Frodo my lad I was just thinking this is not that different than the ending of my book you know"
 "How is that?" asked Frodo.
"Why Frodo I am surprised at you don't you remember the ending of my book? It read and they lived happily ever after. Till the end of their days."

Then Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise. Frodo thought to himself and now it begins, he wrapped his arms around Bilbo and Gandalf and thought how lucky he was to be beginning this new life with his dearest companions, save three. Yet there was still hope of a day far in the future when the three shall become four and another hobbit will  join them.

Chapter Three; Aman Land of the Blessed

It seemed to take forever for the ship to dock. Frodo looked out into the cool blue water, water that had seemed so cold and gray the day before now appeared to be like a beautiful blue stone glistening in the sunlight.   He leaned over the side of the ship.  He was quite sure he could see all the way down to the bottom of the sea.  There were all kinds of strange beautiful fish swimming in the water. Never in his life had Frodo seen water so clear.  

Just then he heard a voice behind him "I wouldn't lean so far forward if I were you. I don't think Master Elrond would enjoy a hobbit fishing expedition before we even dock."

Frodo looked up and saw Gandalf standing next to him smiling.  Frodo smiled back.

"It's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen Gandalf," replied Frodo.  Gandalf laughed and said "you haven't seen anything yet my dear boy."

Frodo lifted his eyes to look upon the approaching island.  It was so lush and green.  Frodo thought it looked greener than the shire, if that was even possible.  It was somehow a strange color though.  It was a green he had never seen the likes of before, he couldn't quite put his finger on it.   

There were beautiful grassy green fields that stretched for miles.  The fields came to rest at the border of a large forest that sat at the base of a great mountain range.  These mountains seemed to divide the island directly in two.  They were the grandest mountains Frodo had ever seen.  The trees of the forest stood as straight and tall as soldiers, their branches pointing upwards to the heavens.

The mountains were jagged and rough at their base and climbed majestically into the air thousands of feet.  At the very top they were covered with white glistening snow that danced like diamonds in the sun.  They very nearly took his breath away.

"They are the Pelóri, meaning high fence in the Elven tongue.  They are the highest mountain range in the world" said Gandalf .

"They are magnificent," replied Frodo.

"You will find many magnificent things here Frodo Baggins the least of which is this mountain range," replied the old wizard laughingly.

The ship docked and they were greeted by many Elves all of whom it seemed had turned out to see Frodo and Bilbo  "The great ring bearers" The only mortals of Middle Earth who were ever allowed on Valinor.  There was much joy and merriment, as Elves are accustom to.  Many old friends and family reunited after long years spent apart.   After a few minutes of introductions and much hugging Elrond said "Come Frodo and Bilbo, I will lead you to your new home."

As they walked Frodo saw silver Mallorn trees everywhere gleaming with their golden leaves in the early morning light.  A fragrant and sweet gentle breeze blew upon their faces and Frodo was certain he heard the music of a waterfall somewhere in the distance.  He sensed a spirit of peace and grace he had never felt in his life.  Every living thing the grass, trees, flowers eventhe air seem to dance in the joy and excitement of being alive.  And everywhere he looked he saw Elanor and Niphredil growing among the cool green grass.          

They eventually came to the base of a large hill.  On top if the hill sat a great house, it appeared to be made of all silver and glass with turrets on each corner.  Upon each turret flew a golden flag with an emblem of two trees on it.  From where he stood Frodo could see many gardens with silver walkways surrounding the house.  At the base of the hill there was a set of silver stairs that lead to the gleaming front door.  Frodo thought how much the silver reminded him of mithrel.  "There lies Celeb Opele, the home of Lord Elrond and Lady Celebrian.  Its translation into common tongue is "silver home," said Gandalf  "we shall dine there this evening".  Frodo, so  in awe of his surroundings could not answer.

They walked a little farther and rounded the base of the great hill.  Frodo stopped and stared in amazement.  For built into a smaller hill at its base was an exact replica of Bag End complete with picket fence, stone walkway and the round green door.  There stood a great mallorn tree growing out of the top and marvelous gardens on all sides.  Bilbo and Frodo stood motionless in amazement.  Lord Elrond turned around and seeing the expressions on their faces laughingly asked "do you like it?"

"Never again did I think I would set my eyes on such loveliness" replied Bilbo blinking back tears.   "Indeed I believe we are home my boy,"  and Bilbo wrapped his arm around Frodo.  Frodo still stood there in utter amazement.  Too taken aback to move or speak.  Finally Frodo spoke up and asked, "How is this possible?"

Elrond just laughed saying,  "we Elves have many wonderful craftsman, all it took were the blueprints so to speak.  For that you can thank Gandalf." Gandalf just smiled.

Lord Elrond continued "I think you will find everything that you are accustom to inside.  We wanted the two of you to be at home here on Valinor and we felt the best way to accomplish this was to bring home to you, so to speak.  If you are ever in need of anything please ask."

"I am quite sure that we will be just fine." Answered Bilbo.

Lord Elrond replied "Lovely, then we shall leave you to settle in to your new home and we look forward to seeing you tonight at the great feast.  Make sure you take some rest today for tonight there is much celebrating to do.  There will be much singing and story telling.  Bilbo, I hope you are up for one of your songs.  It has been so long since we have heard one."

With that Lord Elrond, Lady Celebrian and Gandalf took their leave and Frodo and Bilbo slowly ascended the stairs into their new home.  

Life was peaceful and quiet once Bilbo and Frodo were settled in.  They enjoyed being together and Frodo realized how much he had missed the old hobbit all those long years that they were apart.  They spent many days in the gardens of Bag End and Celeb Opele.Frodo went for long walks usually alone because Bilbo could not walk very far.  He found wonderful streams, rivers, and great fields of Elanor and Niphredil.

There was one special spot Frodo lived to sit in and think.  It was nestled into the base of the mountains.  It was a beautiful grotto with a waterfall, a pond and everywhere the ground was covered with a soft earthy moss.  Frodo would sit in that spot for hours and dream of all kinds of things but mostly of home.  He wondered about Sam, Merry and Pippin.  He hoped that they werefinding as much peace and contentment in their lives as he was in his.  

One day while walking home from the grotto Frodo realized that the illnesses had stopped and he felt all together himself again.  He felt free and wonderful.  As carefree as he did as a young lad when Bilbo first brought him to Bag End as his heir.  Those were the happiest days of Frodo's life and he was feeling much the same way.

Usually after their evening meal Frodo and Bilbo would sit in front of Bag End smoking a pipe-full and Bilbo would tell stories.  Frodo often thought as they sat there that he could see the old party field of the shire with the enormous oak tree stretched out in front of him.  Often Bilbo would fall asleep in the middle of a story and wake up and say "now where was I my boy?  Well I can't remember.  I guess I'll have to start from the beginning again."  

Frodo would just smile and say "Yes Uncle Bilbo that sounds like a great idea."  He never really minded hearing the same stories over and over.  He was just glad to be with Bilbo.  Some evenings Gandalf would join them, especially if he knew that smoking of pipe weed would be involved.  Frodo was never really sure where the pipeweed came from, after all they didn't grow it on Valinor.  He was just glad to have it and never thought to ask.  Life was good and Frodo was happy, healthy and whole again.

One day after many years had passed Frodo was walking along the shore of the Bay of Eldamar.  He noticed a group of Elves running to the dock in great excitement.  "They are coming."  Shouted the Elves.  Frodo looked up and saw a great white ship docking and upon the ship stood many tall Elves.  Frodo thought he recognized someone on board.   It was Lord Celeborn he ha finally arrived.  Frodo noticed Lady Galadriel waiting patiently for her husband.  As he approached her she said "mae govannen. Nae saian luume" * and then she embraced her husband.  Frodo, caught up in the moment of their joy suddenly realized that he was staring at them and turned to go.  "Frodo," said Lord Celeborn "I have brought you something."

Frodo turned to Lord Celeborn who in one fluid movement lifted his graceful arm and pointed toward the ship.  Frodo looked to see his beloved Sam stepping off the ship.  "It's me Master Frodo, It's your Sam! I'm finally here!"

"Oh Sam!" Cried Frodo and ran to embrace his friend.  The two of them stood for what seemed like hours on that pier embracing and crying.  "Look at us, what a sight we are, we need to stop all this cryin' and get off this pier," laughed Sam

"How I have missed you Sam!  Come I have so much to show you and many things to tell you," replied Frodo.  And with that the two hobbits turned and arm and arm walked toward home.  

When they rounded the base of the big hill Sam stopped short.  He looked and saw the smial.  "Well I'll be, all this time you've been livin' in Bag End here, while I've been livin in Bag End there."

"Yes Sam isn't it wonderful?  It's just like home.  Come on let's get you settled Bilbo will be so glad to see you."

*** Welcome, it has been too long.

Sam settled into life well on the Island.  One of the first things he did when he got there was to start playing in the garden.  Frodo found him there one morning up to his elbows in dirt moving plants around and just laughed.

"Sam you're supposed to be resting here, not working" said Frodo  "why are you moving those plants anyway?  I thought they looked fine where they were."

"Well Mr. Frodo I've got to do something, there is never any weeds here to pull and I just feel like being busy that's all."

Frodo just laughed and walked away.  

One day as Frodo was sitting on the front porch Bilbo approached him and said "Frodo I've something I need to discuss with you.  I think its time for me to leave Valinor.  I have often thought as of late that my time here was growing short.   I had decided to wait until Sam arrived for no hobbit should be alone.  Elves are good company for a while but they don't understand us hobbits very well.  So with your blessing I should like to take my leave."

Frodo sat stunned.  He felt as if all the wind had been knocked out of him.  He knew that Bilbo would leave some day.  It just seemed so soon, too soon.  He suddenly realized how much he would miss the dear old hobbit.

Frodo, blinking back tears responded, "I do understand, I do not like it but I understand I have enjoyed our time here together and I shall miss you awfully."

"My dear boy" said Bilbo as he stroked Frodo's cheek, "I shall forever be glad that I took you on as my heir so many long years ago.  Never has a hobbit had a better son."  Then Frodo and Bilbo shared a long embrace.  Frodo did not want to let go, He feared it would be the last time he would hold Bilbo.  With tears in his eyes Frodo said " I love you, father.  For that is what you have been to me.  A father."

Bilbo just squeezed Frodo's neck all the tighter.  It was the first and last time he would ever be called Father.

Then aided by his cane Bilbo stood up and went into the house.

The very next morning Frodo went to call Bilbo for breakfast and the dear old hobbit was gone.  Frodo knew that he had gone on to be with Ilúvatar at his final rest.

Frodo and Sam spent their days much as Frodo and Bilbo had done.  Walking in the fields, visiting the grotto and of course smoking pipe weed.  Sam told Frodo all about life in Middle Earth after Frodo had departed and Frodo was glad to all his stories. He learned about all Sam's children and felt as if he knew them personally.  Heard about Merry and Pippin and their families.  Sam was such a good story teller that Frodo felt as if he had been there experiencing all that Sam talked about.  Frodo and Sam were together again and happy.

After many years passed Frodo began grew weary and was beginning to realize that it was time to move on.  He found himself once again wondering how Sam would take the news of his departure.  One evening after supper Sam and Frodo were sitting, having a pipe-full and Frodo said, "next week is September the twenty second.  You know if Bilbo had lived he would have been one hundred and eighty nine."

"Why Master Frodo,  "then that would make you one hundred and eleven."  Said Sam excited that he had done the math so quickly in his head.   "That's the same age as when Mr. Bilbo left for Rivendale."

"Yes Sam, I was thinking of taking a trip myself.  I think that perhaps its time to leave Valinor.  What was that phrase Bilbo used to use?  I'm feeling stretched, thin, like butter scraped over too much bread wasn't it? I do I think its time to move on."

"Yes, said Sam…I reckon it's gettin' to be about that time.  Your eleventy-first birthday is as good a time as any I suppose.  You'll be wantin' to say goodbye to the others though won't you master Frodo."  

Frodo smiled he had been trying to get Sam to stop calling him master Frodo for years now.  Even as far back as when they returned from the great quest all those long years ago.  But Sam being Sam refused.  "You were Master Frodo before the journey, you are Master Frodo after.  You will always be Master Frodo to me."   Sam had said it so many times,  Frodo eventually gave up and let him call him whatever he wanted.

"Yes Sam I guess I shall be wanting to say my good-byes soon.  Will you go with me when I do this?"

"Yes Master Frodo when you are ready I shall go with you.  After all I should be wanting to say some good-byes myself"  

"Why Sam, cried Frodo, what will you be saying goodbye for?"

"Look here Master Frodo you don't think I'll be letting you leave this place by yourself do you?  Oh no not again.  I let you leave with out me before and it's not gonna' happen again.  I made a promise Mr. Frodo, A promise.  Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee, and I don't mean to, I don't mean too."

Then Sam began to sing the most beautiful song that Frodo had never heard before.

"Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you will go I shall go.
Wherever you lodge I shall lodge.
Your people shall be my people,
And your God my God.
Wherever you die I will die, and be buried beside you."*

Frodo reached out and grabbed Sam's hand and said

"Never in history has Hobbit, Man or Elf had such a friend as I have had in you Samwise Gamgee.  I love you with all my heart and soul"

Sam just smiled for he had nothing else to say.

The next few days Sam and Frodo spent visiting their dear friends and saying goodbye.  Master Elrond, Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, Legolas and Gimli who had sailed over some years before, and most of all Gandalf.

So on the evening of September the twenty second the two friends set out on their last journey together.  They came to a great field of Elanor and Niphredil and holding hands they lay down, closed their eyes and were never seen or heard from again.     

The little Smial of Bag End still stands today on the Island of Valinor reminding all that once hobbits dwelled there.  Mortals had lived in the Land of the immortals, something that had never been allowed before or since.  For such was greatness of these little hobbits.  There was eventually a sign hung on the round green door of that hobbit hole that read what one wise Elf said so long ago:

"Even the smallest person can change the course of history."

*Taken from New American Bible
Book of Ruth:1:-16-1