We’re in July, 1955 and baby Jonah is four months old now, but there’s still been no word from Veronica, his mother, who abandoned him after leaving a letter asking Kathleen to care for him. Kathleen’s grateful for all the help she gets from uncles and aunts to help cope with the seemingly endless dirty nappies to wash. Jonah is also rapidly outgrowing his clothes, but again the family rallies around.
It’s as she’s hanging out some laundry that she notices Albert at the fence watching her and smiling with love in his eyes. She runs to him and he picks her up and swings her around. Her grandad comes out and tells her to put him down at once.
So, Albert now has a chance to renew his acquaintance with Kathleen and her family and to meet the rest of the clan. He also sees Jonah his nephew – his sister’s child – for the first time. They ask him about his job and he begins to learn about the burgeoning business being run by Kathleen, her grandad, and other members of the family.
He doesn’t seem to have much to say about any future that he and Kathleen might have together – just a lot about how hard he’s working to save money to develop his career. That night, he sleeps in the parlour leaving Kathleen puzzled as to why he hasn’t joined her in bed. Even though she knows that she wouldn’t want to leave Ireland and her family, she wonders whether he’ll be expecting her to move back to where his work is. If he really loved me, she’s thinking, there’s plenty work for builders in Ireland.
She considers, concluding that it isn’t as if he’s proposed or anything. He’d spoken about waiting two years – they were still young and it would give him time to get his business off the ground. After all, Veronica may have returned for the baby by that time.
That, of course worries her more than anything. She’s come to love Jonah. She wishes Veronica well but she doesn’t want to give Jonah back.
Albert stays for two weeks without either news about the missing mother or about plans for marriage. He seems convinced that Veronica will come back. He isn’t looking forward to going back to England without her, but he’ll come back to see her as soon as he can.
On the morning that he leaves, the family tell him that it had been nice to meet him and Kathleen drives him to the station. She has mixed feelings about his departure. She’s been so glad to see him but had been disappointed that things had not turned out as she’d hoped. They kiss before he boards his train but there wasn’t the same passion – and she shed no tears.
On her return from the station, Kathleen asks for a family gathering. They’re half expecting news of a proposal but she quashes that idea. She tells them that she’s decided that she’d like to adopt Jonah and wants their advice. Her Nan reminds her that she’s still only nineteen years old, that the baby already has a mother and that the law probably wouldn’t allow it. Her mother, however, fears that the authorities might take Jonah away as a foundling and put him up for adoption – that Veronica could be arrested for abandoning him and the family charged with concealment. Grandad advises her to do nothing: she has Veronica’s letter and the agreement of the baby’s grandmother and uncle. She thanks them for their advice and tells them that she’ll never leave Ireland – not even for Albert. Her grandad is moved to tears of happiness.
The following morning, her mam asks why Kathleen thinks that Albert hasn’t proposed. She tells her daughter that if he doesn’t get a move on someone else will beat him to it. She further advises Kathleen to start going out to enjoy her self with her cousins – that Veronica’s probably having a good time. She points out that she’s not engaged or anything; that she only has one life and should enjoy it. Kathleen asks where that would that leave Jonah. Her mam reminds her that there’s no shortage of babysitters in the family.
Tomorrow – Kathleen sends Albert a letter.
Today’s featured photo is the one that I promised yesterday of a different view of the rugged coastline at Allihies on the Beara Peninsula in County Cork, Eire. Like the others in this Irish series, it was taken with my Pentax K3-ii 16 MP cropped sensor camera using a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 16 mm and f/11. The shutter speed was 1/15 secs and the ISO was 100.