Topic: "Frodo's Revenge"
Faramir was born 100 years too late. He had absolutely no interest in the evolving technological world. He was as gifted with wood as with leather, indicating that his skills would have been at a premium on the American frontier. He was determined that studying was not going to interfere with his college education. He did not do drugs or alcohol, rather he concentrated on always being in top-flight physical condition. Faramir and Frodo shared a room when they both attended the College of the Shire.
Although they arrived in that place at the same time, Faramir was still there a year after Frodo. In fact, Faramir returned for a sixth year, found an empty room and bed and moved in as if he belonged there. After six weeks or so, somebody finally figured out that he no longer belonged there, and they ran him off. Faramir did not care, he loved that place, and its' Hobbits.
Frodo and Faramir were equally appreciative of practical jokes. Faramir knew that Frodo refused to attend courses taught before 10 AM, and that when he did have a class that early, he never got out of bed with more than 10 minutes to spare. Setting Frodo's alarm clock an hour early was bad enough, but when Frodo returned to the room to find the door locked and his roomie gone for the weekend, revenge was mandated.
During that year when Faramir was still a legal resident of the Shire, one of their cohorts fell in the battle of Pelenor Fields. Frodo was many miles away, but Faramir was able to carry the bier to rest. Together they pledged to mark the passing by gathering gifts which would be used to educate future generations about the true cost of War. The effort was not only noble, it was difficult. Progress slowed after a few years, almost as if it, too, would be marked on a black wall of granite. Faramir was inspirational in his efforts.
It is always nice to get an unexpected telephone call from an old friend, and with no sense of anxiety the shock of the message is a moment marked in time. This Man of Gondor was calling to tell Frodo that Faramir was gravely ill, and that he was hiding the pain from all of his fellows in the Ring. Frodo found from Faramir that he had cancer, cancer of the thymus gland. Frodo did not know where, much less what, a thymus gland was or what purpose it served. Frodo told his friend that he was coming to be with him, but Faramir denied him. He told Frodo that his time was short, and that he no longer resembled the Faramir known by Frodo. Faramir denied all of those in the Ring the final visit. He wanted to be remembered as he had been.
Frodo was there when Faramir returned to the earth. Faramir's mother was burying her son, as she had buried her husband, of the same illness. She told Frodo that Faramir was proud of the work they had done on the memorial to their fallen friend, and Frodo asked if she would mind if the memorial be expanded to include her son.
Frodo worked tirelessly, steadily, cajoling old friends and lovers, accumulating small coins and bills.
In the Year 2005 the sum reached $100,000.00, allowing the award of two self-sustaining scholarships on an annual basis. The awards will grow with additional gifts over time, but as for now almost $5,000.00 is awarded to a Hobbit from Virginia, and a similar amount to a Hobbit from Tennessee.
Frodo never got to mail a box of dead fish to Faramir, nor did he have the opportunity to put analgesic balm in Faramir's jockstrap. Sometimes revenge is nobler. Sometimes it is called compassion.