The Road Goes Ever On and On . . .

h1 July 17th, 2007 by jules

For my brother, Don Walker, Jr.:
October 9, 1970 to July 17, 1999

* * *

“Suddenly the River swept round a bend, and the banks rose upon either side, and the light of Lórien was hidden. To that fair land Frodo never came again.

The travelers now turned their faces to the journey; the sun was before them, and their eyes were dazzled, for all were filled with tears. Gimli wept openly.

‘I have looked the last upon that which was fairest,’ he said to Legolas his companion. ‘Henceforward I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift.’ He put his hand to his breast.

‘Tell me, Legolas, why did I come on this Quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Truly Elrond spoke, saying that we could not foresee what we might meet upon our road. Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord. Alas for Gimli son of Glóin!’

‘Nay!’ said Legolas. ‘Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. But I count you blessed, Gimli son of Glóin: for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale.’

‘Maybe,’ said Gimli; ‘and I thank you for your words. True words doubtless, yet all such comfort is cold. Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror, be it clear as Kheled-zaram. Or so says the heart of Gimli the Dwarf.'”

— J.R.R. Tolkien; The Fellowship of the Ring

That pretty much says it all.

May he continue to rest in peace.

17 comments to “The Road Goes Ever On and On . . .”

  1. *Hugs* More later.

  2. Oh, Julie.

    The world really is a little darker without Donnie in it, and memories are a cold comfort indeed.

    Wish I could be back home today.

  3. I love you, Julie…and I miss him so much.

    I wish I could hug your neck today.

  4. This is a lovely tribute.

  5. This is beautiful. I must remember it.

    It’s hard to know what to do on sad anniversaries. I usually just stick close to home and drink lots of coffee.

  6. Your brother was blessed to have a sister like you, and I’m sure he knew it.

  7. This was a day of tears… but he is worth every one I have shed for the last eight years.

    My Son

    In a son’s dreams, a mother’s hope.
    In a son’s accomplishemnts, a mother’s pride.
    In a son’s happiness, a mother’s joy.
    In a son’s death, a mother’s eternal sorrow.
    Life will not go on the same without him.
    If it were the same,
    we could only conclude his life meant nothing, made no contribution.
    The fact that he left behind a place that cannot be filled,
    is a high tribute to the uniqueness of his soul.
    (Author unknown)

  8. Julie…this is beautiful….I have grown to love Donnie, thru the stories your mom has told…he is a great young man….
    I know you miss him so much….
    hugs, Bonnie

  9. My best to you and yours this and every day.

  10. Oh Julie, this is the most beautiful tribute to your wonderful brother. We love him too as your Mom has shared so much about him (and you) over the years. My heart knows your pain……hugs and more hugs, Suzy

  11. ((((Julie)))) What a beautiful tribute to your brother! Donnie is so loved …from both sides. As we stand by your mom on this side our children stand by Donnie on the other until we can all stand together again. Hugs, Debbie

  12. Julie
    This was simply beautiful I know your mom appreciated it. The world is a little emptier by the loss of Donnie but Heaven is so much richer. Donnie is missed by us all on the loop as we have come to know and love him by knowing your mom and the stories she shares about all her children. We all share the pain you and your mom feel on this day and other days as well. Holding you as well as your mom close and wishing you all peace and soft days
    Love always Jo

  13. Oh Jules, I am so sorry to read about this. It is so tough losing a loved one, and when the person is young, it is even harder to bear. Wishing you and your family much comfort and peace. Anniversaries are tough and I’m so glad you have people around you who can cradle you with care.

  14. Thank you, my friends for your lovely comments.

    Since this blog is about books, I’d like to mention one that a dear friend gave me. It is called “The Next Place” and it is a children’s/all ages book, by Warren Hanson.

    The jacket says, “The Next Place is an inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind. An uncomplicated journey of awe and wonder to a destination without barriers. Lose yourself in the uplifting sense of comfort and serenity. Embrace the joyful spirit of oneness. Then pour yourself into the lives of those you love! The Next Place is, above all, a celebration of life and love. Hear the music. Feel the warmth. And be carried away along life’s everlasting flight.”

    The illustrations, by Warren, are beautiful!

    “The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar
    as a sleepy summer Sunday and a sweet, untroubled mind.
    And yet…it won’t be anything like any place I’ve ever been or seen….
    or even dreamed of in the place I leave behind……

    I won’t remember getting there,
    Somehow I’ll just arrive.
    But I’ll know that I belong there
    and will feel much more alive
    than I have ever felt before.
    I will be absolutely free of the things that I held onto that were holding onto me…”

    Whatever your personal beliefs may be, this book offers comfort and hope. Thanks for letting me share it with you. It is from Waldman House Press, Inc. Warren Hanson has also illustrated the beloved books “A Cup of Christmas Tea” and “PEEF The Christmas Bear.” He is from St. Paul, Minnesota.

  15. Many times Tracy and I agreed that if he had only asked us, we would have dropped everything and followed Donnie anywhere in the world. My mother only recently discovered that Donnie was so extremely shy. She thought him standoffish, and couldn’t jibe the stories of the hilarious, caring, ecstatically fun goofball I knew with the quiet boy who came over.
    That is the way, I think, he was best represented; the shy surface that hid someone so much fun and ridiculously funny, even in his great intelligence able to be an idiot with us when needed. Stories don’t do him justice, though I understand those who feel they know him from them. Still, to remember the way he sung the deepest harmonies on “Mercy Street” so casually, my weird giggle fits at pressing my hand against the neck of his guitar during “Freight Train”(was that the name?), or the little chuckle he would give that meant he truly was amused which sometimes preceeded a laughing fit.
    So many personal memories for all of us, there truly isn’t enough room on the internet for all of them.
    If only he had asked.
    All of my love to you and family and friends, even if we are bonded by nothing more than this loss.

  16. (((((Mary Leigh))))) big hugs!
    You saw him in the truest sense…….

  17. I am looking to contact an illustrator named Bonnie Blankenship. I first met her in Philadelphia in the early 70’s. We lived in a brownstone on South Broad Steet. I’m not sure, but I seem to remember her husbands name was Hank (?) an they had a daughter (Tanya?) I was married to a Marine and we lived on the second floor…and you folks lived on the third floor. If this is that person, I’d love to hear from you
    my email address is “”

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