Serilinn knelt beside her father's grave to lay a bunch of flowers upon it, and she remained there for a while, half listening to the happy sounds that floated through the air of the Palace grounds--her little son Edenost shooting at targets with his father Elladan and uncle Elrohir and grandfather Elrond in the courtyard, her six-month-old niece cooing in the little swing her daddy had fixed for her in a tree in the garden, her sister's chatter with their mother Meleth, the strains of harp music played by Galadriel, the twittering of birds....
"Thank you so much, Ada Greenjade," she whispered, "for all you did for me. And Nana and sister Bryseluthea, and the rest of us. Please greet brother Iorhael for me, and all the others...and Frodo also, and..."
She remained there for several more moments until she heard a step behind her, and turned to see her mother-in-law standing there.
"It was a year ago yesterday that he left us," Serilinn said as she rose to take Lady Celebrian's arm. "And it seems more like a few weeks ago."
"That is how time goes here," Celebrian said. "And yet, grief and sorrow are healed."
Serilinn nodded. "For some strange reason, I was thinking of my other father. For the first time in a great long while. Gaergath, you know. Has Nana Meleth spoken of him to you?"
"She did so recently," Celebrian said. "She asked me not to mention to you that she had, unless you brought up the subject first."
"I just wondered how he came to be as he was," Serilinn said. "If he were bad all his life, or if there were a spark of goodness in him at one time, and how it came to be poisoned. Well, I am certain Sauron was his father. But even so, I do remember that he did not abuse me as my mother Duathris did when I was a child. I must wonder how good can be mixed in with so much evil."
"Do you know," Celebrian said slipping an arm about her daughter-in-law's waist, "that my mother told me that Lúthien spoke of him to her once? She said she met him as she was escaping Nargothrond, and that he helped her find Sauron's tower. Nana mentioned this to me just recently. I have wondered if I should speak of it to you."
"Did she?" Serilinn halted in her path. "I never knew of this."
"Lúthien said he was stabbed by Sauron as they struggled, and she and Beren laid his body in a room beside King Finrod's to be buried alongside of him the next day. But upon the morning he was gone! She thought perhaps some evil spirit hiding within the Cloak overtook his body."
"Then my father was never Gaergath!" Serilinn exclaimed. "But if not Gaergath, then who was he?"
Celebrian shook her fair head, glancing back at the graves. "Who can say? Lúthien did not see him again after that. He had gone away, and did not return to the tower. Lost to legend. I wonder what became of his mother. No one seems to know that, either."
"And so Gaergath was not as I thought he was," Serilinn said, turning also. "And he was never given the honorable burial he deserved for his part in banishing Sauron from the Tower. He has achieved naught but notoriety--when he deserved fame! Such a wonder! I am so glad you have told me of this, dear one. I shall have a stone made for him to give him that honor he did not receive. What think you of this?"
"I was going to suggest that very thing," Celebrian smiled.
And so the commission of the stone was given to Greenjade's brother-in-law Amonost, a gifted sculptor, and the finished work was set alongside of Greenjade's and Gimli's, being similar in design to both. There was a small quiet celebration, as flowers were laid on all three graves. Serilinn's tiny niece was walking by then, and her mother set her on her little feet to look at the stones as she clutched her mother's forefingers. And Galadriel said she looked much as Lúthien must have looked as a babe.
"I wonder if they are together in the Halls," Serilinn said. "For Gaergath must surely have reached the Gardens eventually, after all this time. What think you?"
"Even I could not say," Galadriel said. "If so, he is in some most interesting company."
"I should think so," Serilinn said. "Yet for now, I think I prefer the company here."
She smiled, looking aside at her husband, her son, her sister and her family, her mother Meleth, and all the many friends she had made in the West. And the forested mountains in the distance, and the bright-blue waves of the sea beyond those. She could scarcely remember any home but this now.
Then she supposed she would think exactly the same thing, once she had crossed over to the Other Side....
Whenever that would be.
She looked once more at the graves, as the others began to turn back toward the Palace.
"Be blessed, all of you," she murmured before going to join the rest.