Topic: "The Litany" (6)
Friday, October 29, 1929, the infamous "Black Friday," took place exactly 81 years ago. Frodo sensing an ominous wind as he tries to prepare himself for great disappointment to come, notices that Sam seems serene and composed. Thinking only to himself, he remembers discussion about "the litany," to which, he admits, he had paid but subservient attention. He always assumed that Sam's Mother, a paragon of order and peaceful personal discipline had instilled a methodology in her offspring that allowed the mind and body to prepare for challenge. How wrong Frodo has been.
Sam has beaten cancer, twice. Sam endured a stepmother who developed dementia so severe that mere contact with father before his death became difficult. Sam's lone sibling, a sister who is adored as best friend finds her independence and life quality in peril. Sam deals with an affliction which prevents the production of liquids in the body, so there are no tears, no saliva. Sam lives a life of tolerance and respect for others which inspires Frodo to fight harder, every day. Sam knows how to try hard.
Frodo finally decided to ask Sam directly. "This 'litany,' I assume, is something you learned from your Mother?"
"No. Actually, it was something I read some time ago, and, over time, I've taken the 'mantra', changed some of the words, and found a way to bring a day to an end, peacefully."
"Hmm," said Frodo, "is this like the counsel every newlywed couple receives from someone on the wedding day to 'never go to bed angry'?"
"No, it starts with simply recognizing that there's something out there which is bigger than either Sam or Frodo, and addressing some very basic 'thank-yous' for giving me another day, or for how good I felt all day long."
"And then I apply some of that to the needs around us, some is personal, some is broader in scope."
"So how does it differ from a simple prayer?"
"It takes place as I let the day escape, and a peaceful rush comes over me when health and happiness are associated with people I love who can use some good thoughts. It includes all the creatures of the Shire, too. I don't ask for anything I just fall asleep thinking about people getting better, and being happier. That, dear Frodo, is the litany."
"So, would the President fit into the litany?"
"I think of him, and the encouragement that we all need when everyone and everything seem to line up against us."
"What about the opposition, those whom we mock and, in truth, despise?"
"What, you think I'm going to stay up half the night hoping that Sarah Palin gets over her mental illness?"
Frodo may indeed by the smallest and the weakest, but he is also, the most fortunate.
His birthday litany is decided.