Topic: "Bilbo's Revenge" (5)
Frodo and Sam, once again, venture into the wilderness. Bilbo's house stands empty now, because Bilbo resides in something called an Assisted Living Center. Bilbo will return to that house on the morrow in order to meet Frodo and Sam and let them rest a day before commencing this joint venture into the unknown.
Bilbo seems to enjoy the Assisted Living Center, other than the fact that there is no "family" nearby. Bilbo's Doctor has made it clear that Bilbo should no longer reside in that house, all alone. The Doctor has taken the somewhat unusual step of suggesting that Bilbo leave the Assisted Living Center in the desert and go to live in a place such as the Shire, where there is "family."
Frodo feels that Bilbo would like that suggestion if Frodo were the one doing the moving. Frodo's Sister, about whom he never speaks, has offered Bilbo a room, a bathroom, and a telephone, all on one floor, in a place where there is no more than four months of sunshine annually. Frodo notes a similarity to the place known as Leavenworth. Frodo knows that if this is the course chosen, then this will probably be the last visit he shares with Bilbo in this dimension. Sam, long ago, made the offer that Bilbo could spend the final days in the Shire, but Frodo and Sam both know that the multi-leveled Shire is not suitable for one on oxygen and utilizing a walker. If this is the choice, then Bilbo will take residence in a nearby Assisted Living Center, albeit a place for daily visitations.
The third option is that which Frodo suspects is what Bilbo wants. Bilbo wants to go home; to sleep in Bilbo's bed, and to look upon the hummingbirds and the rabbits who populate the environs of a mini-desert Shire. To have someone about to help bathe and tend at evening tide, but to stay out of Bilbo's way as Bilbo quietly surrenders the charge in her battery.
Frodo understands his role very well. That does not mean he likes it. Frodo will make an assessment after observing, first-hand, then discussing, factually, with Bilbo that which he has seen. The result, he knows, will be just like the day long ago when Bilbo told him he had to concentrate on his schoolwork, and to use that time in something more sensible than playing football. Most likely it is that the same lines will be repeated, only the roles portrayed will change. Frodo's greatest challenge will be the maintenance of demeanor, and to not fall into the emotional trap of trying to argue or reason with the rusty synapses which comprise geriatric logic in the twenty-first century. Bilbo would not understand if Frodo told her that she could not play football. What she will understand is what comprises a wilderness, 2000 miles to the West. A long days journey.