Epilogue: A Sweet Sleep
I'm an old woman now, with children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. It's odd how clearly I remember that time, now when the events around me sometimes seem misty and out-of-focus. I remember when I got my courses after Frodo left Brandy Hall, I fell across my bed and sobbed myself sick. He'd said, you know, but still I'd hoped. Hoped even though it would have meant my ruin.
Merry was furious with me, of course. He couldn't believe how I'd disrupted all his carefully arranged plans. I tried to tell him but couldn't make him understand. Truth be told, I hardly understood myself how I'd ended up sending away the person I loved more than anything in the World. Relations between Merry and I were quite strained for the rest of the year. That next autumn when Frodo went away, though, Merry came 'round and apologized to me most sincerely.
"I didn't know," he'd said. "I'd thought he would be happy once he found you. Why couldn't he stay?" The mask came off and he'd looked at me with his pain in his eyes, honestly bewildered by it. Dear Merry. A wonderful man and an excellent Master, yet just between us, he had one flaw. He sometimes got a bit too used to having things his way.
He's left the Shire, as well. Estella had been gone nearly four years when he got a message from the King, asking him to visit one last time. He and Pippin left for Rohan and Gondor, soon after. They'll not be returning. The night before he left, he came to me and we talked for a while, reminiscing of the good times over our long lives. The only good thing about being old is being able to have visitors and no one bothering their silly heads about it. And while the rush of passion may not be as overpowering, the skill of long experience more than compensates.
I married again, of course, just as Frodo had seen. I married Merimas, a good man, easy to live with and easy to love. He passed on two summers ago and now fall's come around again. It's always in fall that the old memories haunt me. The light is golden, and the air is warm and I spend my days dreaming of Frodo. Remembering his voice, his eyes, and the feel of his body. The young ones in my family would be astonished to know what Granny thinks of in her long walks. My last autumn, I do believe. I've seen my loves, my dear ones in my dreams, and it seems to me that one day soon, they'll come to me with arms open wide and kiss me and bring me home at last. I've seen Tory and Toby and Merim, that is. I haven't seen Frodo. My dearest one that I held for so short a time.
Long life and health, my darling, I prayed for him when I sent him away. And love... I fancy that prayer's been answered and I don't see him because he lives yet, young and strong and beautiful as always. He lives, and all these long years, that thought has been a comfort to me. It's good to think he is in the World somewhere. He was not mine, no more than any living creature can belong to another. We share our light for a little while, our love against the dark, and that's all we can ask. In this World, that is.
I hope he remembers me now and then. He lives yet, but he won't forever. Mortal he was, and mortal remains. And I hold one wish just for myself, only one. When his time is done, let me see him. Let me go to him as I once did, as I was then, and kiss him, laughing for joy at the scent of his skin and the feel of his lips. Let me welcome him home. And let me tell him once more, how very much I loved him.
Descent of Torinas
Talco Chubb ( 1265-1360)
m. Lilac Brandybuck (1270-1365)
(sister of Gorbadoc Brandybuck 1260-1363)
Tosco Chubb (1311-1355)
m. Opal Banks (1325-1425)
(later married Dodinas Brandybuck 1311-1409)
Torric Chubb-Brandybuck (1351-1445)
m. Dahlia Goodbody (1350-1452)
Torinas Brandybuck (1383-1419)
m. Tansy Proudfoot (1383-1486)
(sister of Sancho)
Tobas Brandybuck (1416-1420)
Tansy Proudfoot Brandybuck
Opal (1424- )
Peridot (1426- )
Serimas (1430- )
This story would have never come into being without the spot-on critique and unfailing enthusiasm and encouragement of three special ladies:
I will make no songs about them, being content to chant their beautiful names.
*paraphrase, with apologies to Treebeard*
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.