Tuesday, August 20, 2013

There's Been a Death in the Family.

*Look for a new posting most Tuesdays and Fridays*

Some of you have already heard that my daughter and occasional co-author of this blog, Amanda, lost one of her best friends Saturday morning.  That's what Frodo was to her; a good friend, a companion, a trusted confidant, her very own personal "shrink."  Frodo's place in Amanda's life had long ago risen above "pet" status.

When a "furry" friend acquires that status in one's life it becomes hard to tell who is really taking care of whom.  Does the act of purchasing and opening a can of Ken-L-Ration outweigh making your floppy ears available for scratching?  Is one's seemingly annoying bark not understood as a method for encouraging the other to go out and get some fresh air?  Is attentive listening less valuable than providing a fresh flea collar?

And what about the role our short-legged friends play in home security.  There's something to be said about exchanging a bag or two of milkbones for the peace of mind knowing that there is someone at home protecting all the "stuff."  Okay, so maybe a couple of times burglars snuck in during nap time and got a bit of loot, but we wouldn't really want someone to bleed to death for a five year old TV set, would we?

In times of sickness who really provided more care: Amanda with a trip to Barkstown Road for some special food, or Frodo making a pillow of himself and risking being squished to comfort someone who was sick in bed all day with a cold?

And what about entertainment?  Just think of the times Frodo has had to chase around after balls and sticks just to provide Amanda some physical exercise.  Without him a person could easily lose their throwing arm.  And without a warm tummy and floppy ears, a person's scratching fingers could atrophy and become useless for boring tasks, like typing and blog-writing.

Frodo will be greatly missed even when he was just resting from all his care-giving chores at the end of the sofa.  His very presence was a comfort.  His greatest concern now, and mine always, will be for Amanda and her grief as she adjusts to life without her companion.  

Frodo was lucky to have been a part of Amanda's life.  And Amanda was lucky to have been a part of his.  He will always exist in her heart.


The following sonnet is the second stanza of a poem by George Santayana, a tribute to his good friend WP.  Marty got this poem from Catherine LeDuke and in so doing started the poetry activity we carry on with Mother today.  Marty said she intends to include it as a part of the eulogy at my funeral.

It seems to me that the friendship between WP and George could not have been any stronger than the one shared by Amanda and Frodo and if it is deemed good enough for my eulogy then I'll share the honor with Frodo.

So with it I'll say "Good Bye, Frodo."

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, and young hearts ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,
What I keep of you, or you rob from me.


Jimmy LeDuke (I'd love to hear from you...feel free to comment below, or click HERE to send me an e-mail.)


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