16. Rosie's Gift
Sometimes I think if I see another soiled nappy or mess of spilled pap, I'll chuck the lot. Rose Gamgee, you were a fool to wed, says I to myself. I might have stayed a tidy old maid, keeping house for Dad.
But then I remember Sam touching my face in the dark and breathing Rose, my Rose, against my cheek. I remember the wonder of a little life fluttering under my heart, like a bird waiting to fly free.
I'm no foolish girl with naught in her head but romance. I could keep the babes from coming, Mam showed me the herbs to take and the moon-times to take them in. But when I see my Sam at dusk, a book across his lap and our little children gathered round his knees, their dear faces turned up like flowers seeking the sun, I feel such joy.
Master Frodo broke my Sam's heart when he left us. P'raps it'll never be mended, not in this world, not by me, but I'll do what I can. This is my gift to you, my Sam: Love to heal you, and a new babe's cry to drown out the sound of the sea.
Author's Note: I've come to the conclusion that this little collection is as long as it needs to be, and it seems fitting to end it the way I began it, with Rosie and Sam, and their children. Any new drabbles, double-drabbles, and ficlets will appear in New Roads and Secret Gates. If you've read this far, wow, thanks for coming all this way with me, Constant Reader, and I hope it was worth the trip. Now take a break, have some tea, rest your eyes!