Topic: "Dearest Bilbo"
"Mr. Frodo, please write that High School English Teacher and thank her, for both of us."
"Dear Mrs. Ames, enclosed is a "Blue Book" assignment that I wrote in a Freshman English course. My Professor wrote something at the end which I thought you might like to see. I consider it a very great compliment, and I wanted to share it with you."
" I enjoy college life very much, and much of the credit for it goes to you, and to Mr. Maranian, and to so many others who actually got my attention from time-to-time. I will always cherish the books, not least of which is 'The Grapes of Wrath.' I try every day to remember Robert Penn Warren and the definition of "greatness." These are gifts you gave to me, and to all of us lucky enough to be in your class. Thank you."
"My Dear Mr. Frodo, your very wonderful letter arrived on a dreary day, and instantaneously the clouds were replaced by sunshine. You may never know much I appreciate the words of your Professor. Follow him, keep listening, and never, ever lose that which makes you so special. Thank you, my dear Frodo."
Rachel Ames was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. She was married, and had two children, Allison and Ashford. Frodo met both of her children, in passing, but he never met her husband. Years later, VANITY FAIR published an article which detailed much of the adult life of her family. The husband, it seems, was an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, and he was an alcoholic.
About the time that Frodo's one and only letter to this magnificent woman was written Allison Ames, only a few years older than Frodo, died from breast cancer. Not long after that the anonymous Mr. Ames passed away, probably with no recollection of where he was at the time. Frodo supposes that the timing of his letter was as good as it ever could have been.
Rachel died in her son's apartment from a heart attack a few years later. Frodo did not know that until he read it in one of the books written about her son. Ashford Ames had followed his father into the CIA where he rose to a position of prominence in that part of the Intelligence community that dealt with the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, he also inherited his father's tastes.
After Rachel died, Ashford Ames married a very attractive Latin American woman, and he went to great expense to keep her happy. To establish and maintain the requisite lifestyle, he needed money. He got it by selling out his country. He got it by selling classified information to the Soviet Union. He got it by providing information which resulted in the death of more than a dozen people in different parts of the world. It cost him his freedom.
Frodo reflects often on the best teacher, Rachel Ames. For all the gifts she gave to Frodo, he remains most grateful that she did not live one more day. She endured the death of her daughter, and the torment of her husband, and her end came without ever knowing of her son's treachery.
Dear Mom, as Mother's Day nears Frodo just wanted to take a few minutes and let you know how grateful I am . . .