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Mother Gamgee  by MarigoldG

You look more like Missus Primula every time you visit." Bell smiled, drawing the teenager into her embrace. Frodo didnít mind, the hug or the reference to his mother. Most people avoided mentioning his parents but he delighted in hearing about them.

He was glad Mother Gamgee was in the garden that morning, in her favourite spot for mending and watching her flowers grow.

The two youngest of Bellís flowers, Sam and Marigold, came running when they saw Frodo, bringing hugs and blackberries. Frodo lit up even more and joyously accepted the sharing of friendship, berries and a mummaís love.

Frodo was as proud as Sam that the ten-year-old had progressed so well at learning his letters. The lad had concentrated for weeks on something of the utmost importance. Next day was Yule and, with Frodoís help, his very special gift to his mumma was nearly finished.

Sam had made up the verse himself, painstakingly written out the letters, and added a beautiful border of flowers in coloured inks. Frodo had carved the frame, his contribution.

Samís mother would be proud, and would appreciate the love that went into the gift and would treasure it forever as mummaís always did.

Mother Gamgee came visiting Bilbo one bright spring morning. Frodo had shown her into the parlour and brought tea and biscuits, with a vase of daffodils on the tray.

"Such a thoughtful lad you are Frodo, dear." She smiled at him.

Frodo smiled back. Samís mumma was loving and kind and held a special place in Frodoís heart. Bell was serenely happy when Bilbo showed her out, but when Frodo went to collect the tea tray the thinly veiled sorrow he saw on Bilboís face filled him with a sense of foreboding he could not bring himself to ask about.

It was late summer when Mother Gamgee was laid to rest, and the flowers were bountiful still in the garden.

Frodo remembered little of his parentsí funeral, shocked by the suddenness. Sam didnít have that shock to numb the blow. Sam had watched his mumma fade as spring turned to summer knowing he could do nothing to coax life back into the dying, as he was able to do in the gardens, young as he was.

Frodo picked up Mari, took Samís hand, and they placed the wreath of flowers theyíd made together yestermorn on her grave, and said goodbye.

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