Topic: "Times A' Wastin'" (3)
Bilbo is in the hospital. Bilbo will remain in the hospital until the doctor-in-charge returns from Thanksgiving Vacation on Monday. Bilbo is on oxygen, and Frodo would not be surprised if the tubes remain for all of the time that is left to Bilbo. Frodo and Sam have planned to spend Christmas with Bilbo while returning from a cruise along the West Coast of Mexico. Bilbo was excited about the prospect of spending Christmas with Frodo and Sam, but now the words and the intonation of long-distance telephony give a new sense of impending change.
Frodo is embarrassed about the sense of inconvenience to it all. Despite all of the conversations, the planning, the legal research, whatever, it remains that the best of intentions will leave many decisions to fall when he would prefer to be doing something far less important, but far more egocentric. Frodo will do what is right, what is required, what is expected, but he has to admit that it will be inconvenient. Perhaps Frodo is not so far removed from the "Generations X, Y, and Z" he so resents after all?
Hobbits are traditionalists. Hobbits send each other Christmas Cards, and they eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Hobbits walk their children to school on the first day, and they follow behind the hearse on the way to the cemetery. These things are understood, and they are accounted for. Looking back upon these duties and expectations in no way addresses how difficult it is to take care of all the proper details as they occur.
Frodo's father once told him, in his own way, that he was not worried about Frodo's ability to meet his responsibilities, and to take care of Bilbo. Is Frodo a disappointment because he truly wishes he did not have to deal with issues such as these at all? Does merely having thoughts such as these reveal the inner weakness of the Hobbit? Or is Frodo merely putting into words that which all feel when some of the heavens fall into the only paths they've known?
Tonight, Frodo only knows that he can dial the telephone, and Bilbo will answer.