Someday, the other side of the sea...
It had taken longer than he expected and yet he was surprised that he had ever gotten over it at all.
Surely his Rosie and his ever-growing family kept him well loved and
distracted. He couldn’t lie he’d been happy most of the time and yet
there was always something missing.
He understood his going, though he wasn’t sure that Frodo could have
known that his simple gardener and friend knew, and trusted in his
He could still call up the emotions from that day. He no longer thought
of it as the "dreaded" day as he long had; but the feelings were safely
tucked away with the other thousands of memories of his master and
His fondest wish, aside from one day following Frodo, would have been
for Frodo to see all his children and especially Frodo lad.
What had it been that day, the day Frodo left him, and the day he went
where he could not follow? He recalled the wretchedness of his heart at
the realization of his plan, he wept freely as had Merry and Pippin. He
clutched at him madly in those final moments unwilling to admit he
would really go. As he had turned and walked away silently the reality
set in and his heart had nearly stopped, the agony of those moments
were as vivid to him today as they always had been.
He knew his job well, he wore many hats all these years and much he did
in memory of his dearest friend, the quiet unsung hero of his heart.
Not one single day went by that he did not think of him, not a single
blessed day would he allow to pass with out doing or saying something
that brought honor to the name of the Ring-bearer. With all else he
did, Gardener, Mayor, Father, and Husband Sam found that his chief
occupation still involved the care of Mister Frodo Baggins.
It was that look, that completely blessed, peaceful look; that very
last glimpse of a Frodo that was so far removed from that time; it
boggled the mind. Sam had felt the wonder creep into his heart and mind
and his very soul. A revelation it was and a truth that was so
beautiful that it hurt the mortal eye.
Sam’s memory searched back as it had so very many times; he sorted
through his store of memories of Frodo. He had known him long, since
his childhood in fact but he’d only truly known him since right before
he had inherited the ring. It was in those distant places of his mind
that he found the face for which he looked. It was the face of a truly
untroubled Frodo, which he sought, one that had no darkness, and no
sadness or defeat and failure nor any hurts. Surely he had moments of
great joy after he carried the burden, before the darkness grew and
evil infiltrated every part of their lives; but he never was quite the
same after the thing came to him.
It was easy to see now, knowing the danger and knowing what it could
have done was frightening. That pain was always with him, all the time
he spent with he and Rosie after, Frodo was a mere shadow, not really
of any substance, he floated in and out of their daily lives unable to
call himself out to participate in the Shire he had saved.
Truth be told, he’d known all along that he’d go. But denial is a
wonderful thing and he used it to his full advantage. He convinced
himself that he did not see Frodo fading before his very eyes, that the
suffering was no worse and that with enough care and love he would get
better and live a long life with he and Rosie.
It had been a lovely place he’d created, when the reality battered
against it and it’s fragile walls caved in; the harshness of what he
had denied hit him square in the gut. How had he allowed it? Frodo must
have been hiding it as well, the suffering he trudged through day by
day, the legacy of the ring clinging to him like thick mud, dragging
and pulling him ever deeper into despair and illness. His only light
must have seemed that of the elves and escape and his closest friends.
He could only guess what his friend had suffered for he spared him all
the details, what Sam knew of was enough to wrack his soul. The
anniversary illnesses were the worst of days and seemed to sap the life
from him. But everyday Frodo diminished, he could see it now, though
he’d tried not to before.
Yes, his decision was right. It was the conclusion he came to each and
every time. That his Master had been given this choice was a thrilling
miracle. He knew why Frodo had left them, and in part it was for his
own healing. Over the years he had known him, Sam understood and knew
that Frodo had left to spare them. It would have been a completely
Frodo-ish thing to do, as Pippin put it one evening in the green Dragon
as three friends sat discussing this very thing. They were thankful
each time to the Lady Arwen for her gift to him. As always Sam’s mind
wandered to the other option for Frodo, a steady decline into dotage
and insanity was not something that he’d wish to have seen, nor could
he have borne it. “Thank you Frodo”, he whispered under his breath.
Thus he did each time his mind strayed to this emotional trap.
Even as he stood looking into those deep blue eyes as he was told he
was going he couldn’t grasp it. Didn’t see it…the paleness of his skin
and the not quite well undertone that seeped to the surface. The dark
smudges beneath his eyes, the aching stiffness of joints that had aged
all at once, seemingly.
Not until the last did he see. Not until it was too late to tell him he
understood. He turned back to them, and blessed glory all his wishes
had come true. The face from his memory was staring back at him and he
saw suddenly and frighteningly how very far Frodo had wandered from his
self. It was then he knew, he understood why and how it was that Frodo
needed to go. He knew, Frodo would heal and someday he would see him
again, on the other side of the sea. And that time was growing closer