Again, you were wonderful readers, and I look forward to posting more!
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord."
I hope that you are not naive enough to think that my life was perfect after the day I gave my burdens to Eru. Clearly, if that is the case, you have not experienced life, nor life walking with Eru. For no, my life was far from perfect.
But it was better than I had ever thought it could be, again. Instead of being bitter over my trials, I learned slowly, day by day, to learn from them and try to understand why I was put through them. I learned to discontinue blaming others for my problems. And I learned to love my children again.
Feomir and I were always the closest, and there is no shame in that. He was so like me I always understood him, and many was the time I wondered how I could ever have loathed him. Of course, he understood me as well, and there were times I wished he did not have such clear perceptiveness, but overall my son and I were two peas in a pod.
Elboron blossomed into a fine young man and never had to arbitrate between Feomir and myself again. In fact it was sometimes the other way around...Feomir would explain to Elboron why I disciplined or reprimanded him. He reminded me of Boromir daily, and I never lost the bitter-sweetness of looking at my son and remembering my brother, though I learned to accept Elboron for the man he was.
Morwen, my sweet daughter, eventually stopped having nightmares and lost her innate fear for snakes. She grew to be a beautiful young woman with hair the exact color of Éowyn's, though her spirit resembled mine more than her mother's. At the age of eighteen she was married to a worthy young man and they have had five children...with more on the way. She often visits and I believe some of my happiest moments are with my grandchildren.
Sheena never married, and she was indeed a great friend and a mother to the children. I never shook the feeling that she wished for there to be something else in our relationship, but I had nothing left to give. And so we were simply friends until she died. My children and I mourned her deeply, for she was always there throughout their childhood, and was much like the mother they did not have.
Ithilien, too, has prospered, and it seems like a long time indeed since the War of the Ring and its horrors. King Aragorn has been fair and just, and his son, Eldarion, is also a young man of wisdom. Gondor has hope for a long and prosperous future ahead, and I am glad of it.
My Uncle Imrahil has, I regret to say, passed out of the circles of this world and into the next. The very day I returned with Feomir from the woods, I sent for him, saying only that something crucial had been made known to me. He came promptly, and we reconciled. There were many tears, embraces, and fond words. He came from Dol Amroth twice a year until his death, and I took my children out to the sea many times as well.
No one could ever replace my uncle, and I do not know what I would have done without him. He was proof, I believe, that Eru was working all things in my life for good. Rest in peace, Imrahil, for you are missed.
Eomer, Lothíriel, and their children, have also become close friends, and we visit once a year with them. The distance is becoming greater now that we are growing older, but I have no doubt that our children will carry on the tradition of meeting.
On a sadder note, and one that causes me much, much pain, Mithrandir and I never saw each other again. He took a ship from the Gray Havens with Frodo, Galadriel, and Celeborn, and now resides in Valinor. This is the area in my life that I wish I could change the most, for Mithrandir was my closest friend for years, and it was not right that I did not consider his council. I blush even now, for he was a wizard...one of the Istari, and their wisdom is above, it can be argued, even the elves'. But I cling to the hope that we will be reunited after death, and I can beg forgiveness of him then. I have no doubt he will freely give it, and I believe in his heart, Mithrandir knew what was going to happen.
And now my life draws to a close...ever closer I can feel the hand of death drawing. I am not afraid, nor disappointed. And yet I am not anxious that it should come. It seems almost strange, really, that I am not in a hurry to face death. All those years I would have welcomed its approach, and now I am indifferent to it. I have lived my life as best I can, most of the time, and the others I have repented of. I know that Eru will welcome me with open arms.
My love for Éowyn has never abated, and I have never stopped missing her. The ache in my heart, or rather, the loneliness, has never disappeared entirely, though I have learned to live with that, too. If there is one thing that I am glad for, it is that I will be reunited with Éowyn when my light of life is blown out. She has been waiting for me for years, but I believe I have missed her more than she has missed me. And that is how it should be.
Not only does my life draw to an end---this story does also. I hope you have learned something by my example, and I pray that, whatever happens in your life, you will understand that only one thing really matters: whether you are right with Eru.
On one of my early morning rides with Feomir, recently, we stopped at the brink of the Andúin and looked on in silence. We both love those rides, when everything is so still and peaceful. The mist is just rising, and the sun is only just breaking over the hills. It always reminds me of something I have lost, or something that I cannot remember. The feeling of oneness with my horse, trotting gently over those rolling slopes, and the silent companionship with my son are priceless.
The water rushed past us in a silent stream, as if it too was loath to break the silence with its bubbling noise. And as I stared into the deep, cool, churning mass, a thought popped into my head. I was becoming just like my father, I thought to myself, and it was wrong. But there was more to the mistake I made. My error was not becoming just like my father. My error was choosing the wrong father. Becoming just like my earthly father was wrong; becoming like my heavenly one is right.
And that is what I strive more and more for. Every day I pray, work, and hope that I can be...
Just like my father.