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With Me..Till the End
They’re all back here with me—Merry, Pippin, Sam. We did go there and back again…but it doesn’t mean that we escape unchanged, unaffected. The gratitude I felt in Crickhollow had been mixed with fear and reluctance to have them come along… but we’re all back now though, with innocence lost, we will never be the same again. I remain a shadow of my old self because of It… But I can’t help but feel enormously thankful for my friend and cousins for going to the ends of the world with me…. And to think of what they’ve all had to endure!
Will his right hand ever be all right? I see Merry rub his arm gingerly and unconsciously on occasion and see how he seems to shudder in the cold a bit more than before… My dear Merry has done more than I had ever expected him too and his growth, not only in height, ascertains that he has changed and had gone through things that he probably will not discuss so readily with everyone. And the worries reflected in his blue eyes tell me that he still has fears and concerns for Pip… and me.
He’s still Merry though. I look at his blue eyes and see how I’ve come to love and be grateful for his cheery spirit, his practical ways of handling different situations. From the well thought of Conspiracy to the Battle of Bywater, these are all his plans and his keen and flexible mind saw to everything becoming accomplished. How he has always adamantly stayed by my side until that fateful day at Parth Galen, how cared for those he loved, sitting at the vigil at Cormallen, how he selflessly defended the hobbits at Bywater,--- these actions show how a future Master of Buckland would act.
Pippin—dear Pip, whose unquenchable spirit and dogged determination has certainly earned him respect and honor as Ernil I Pheriannath in Gondor. He, like Merry, did not have to come on this dangerous journey with me yet he did, and now, he has survived and come back, innocence dashed and seriousness is revealed underneath those cheerful green eyes, foreshadowing the future rise of an influential Thain. I am grateful for his ability to smile in the worst situations, to have kept his spirit up when all seemed bleak, for his curiosity and humor-- for making everyone in the Fellowship smile amidst the bleakness and suppression of Moria, the frigid coldness of Caradhras, the monotony of traveling down the Great River--- My little Pip has grown up over the course of less than a year. I just hope that he will remain his cheerful self amidst the dangers and awful experiences he had had to endure even before his tweenage years are over.
My dear Sam—how could I start to express my gratitude for my best friend, brother at heart? When I had wanted to part from the Fellowship, it was dear Sam who guessed my mind at what I had decided to do. It would have been the death of me for him to come along, but as I realized, without Sam, the Quest could not have been completed and would have terminated long ago in my helplessness that entrapped me in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. His voice, his touch, his strength of mind were what kept me going when all I wanted to do was fall down with the weight of the world, the weight of the Ring so firmly pressing down my soul, my thoughts, my feeling. At the end of all things, I was just glad that he was there with me, as I thought that we were quickly drawing to both our ends.
His brown eyes continue to express concern and worry for me whenever I don’t eat, whenever I’m more reticent than is normal… But he has other things to think about, another life to live, and other things to look forward to in the Shire… How grateful I am of him exceeds all words of appreciation I may utter, all actions that I could do for him… I’m just afraid that I’ll never be able to make it up to him. He remains steadfast by my side though and I’m grateful beyond words, grateful for his unwavering support, loyalty, kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice, hope and persistent determination to see it through to the end and succeed when my resolve had been long gone. He saw that his master went there and back again…and he did his duty to perfection.
Tears start to gather as I look at each of their faces as we toast to each other, wordlessly, at the Green Dragon. How thankful I am to still have them besides me after our long arduous journey! Since the day I woke up in Cormallen seeing Sam sleeping peacefully at my side, seeing Merry and Pippin appear in their great Rohirrim and Gondorian uniforms, till the last battle that happened in our own Shire soil, I have been deeply relieved beyond words to know that we have all made it. I know, deep in my heart, that that we will always be connected through this Quest….in brotherly love, comradeship, a special bond that will last to the end of our days.
~fin~ Written for Nivster.
Written for Nivster.
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