When Sean and Kathleen arrived home, everyone wanted to hear about the wedding, and how Veronica had reacted to seeing Kathleen again. Her mam wished that she could have seen Betty and was pleased to hear that she was well. Everyone was asking questions except Jonah – who seemed quiet. Sean noticed and gave him some new football boots that he’d bought in Dublin. The lad couldn’t wait to try them out.
Later that evening, Jonah asked Sean if Veronica was looking forward to seeing him, and asked when he’d meet her. Sean saw that Jonah looked anxious and asked whether he’d rather not see her. Jonah explained that he didn’t want his mam, Kathleen, to be worried in case Veronica wanted him back. He felt that if he didn’t meet her it could make things easier. He told his dada that he wouldn’t leave them to go with her- she’d never wanted him before.
Sean explained that Veronica would love him, but that she knew that he loved Kathleen as his mam – and how happy he was where he is. He told Jonah that he could cancel the planned meeting, but that might make it more difficult if he later changed his mind. The decision rested entirely with Jonah though, and it could be in Dublin or at the farm. Jonah didn’t hesitate – she could come to the farm. Sean offered Jonah another fishing trip like their first – with a picnic. He was delighted. Jonah went to watch TV and Sean went to talk to Kathleen about his talk with Jonah.
The following morning, Kathleen was seeing to the hens before breakfast. She’d been lying awake worrying about not having conceived yet. It hadn’t seemed a problem when Jonah was younger and all the renovation work had been taking place, but now she was quite concerned. She decided to speak to Sean.
For now, however, she had breakfast with Sean and Jonah and prepared a picnic and flask to take with them. She watched them concentrate on their float and had noticed that Sean never baited his hook until Jonah had caught a fish. She was wishing though that she could give Sean a child of his own. Sean noticed how quiet she seemed. He wondered whether seeing Veronica again had upset her. He asked her if that’s what was bothering her. She assured him that it wasn’t that – although she’d noticed that they hadn’t asked to see Jonah. She compared their attitude to that of Albert. She told him that she was worried that once Veronica had met him she wouldn’t keep in touch with him – and worried how that would make Jonah feel.
The conversation was interrupted as Jonah shouted that he thought he had a whopper of a fish on his line. Sean helped him land it – which took more than half an hour. Sean had never known such a large fish to be in that lake. Sean photographed it. Jonah couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home. His grandad ribbed him about eating the fish for dinner that night. Jonah was affronted because he’d put his catch back in the lake so that he could catch it again every time he went fishing.
Sean and Kathleen drove to the coast leaving Jonah with the Grandys. They bought fish and chips which they ate sat on a bench overlooking the sea. She told Sean how disappointed she was that she hadn’t been able to conceive a child for him – even though they’d been married two years. She said that she was thinking of seeing a doctor. She told him what a lovely dad he’d been to Jonah and that he should have children of his own.
He told her not to worry: as long as he had her, he was the luckiest man in the world. They had Jonah, who needed them. He promised that he’d come with her to the doctor if that’s what she wanted, but suggested that they waited another twelve months.
She agreed and the conversation moved on. They agreed to invite Veronica to see Jonah.
Tomorrow – Jonah meets Veronica
The featured photo today is the final one from Sneem on the Ring of Kerry. Tomorrow will be the final one from Ireland. Today the image is of an inn seen from across the main road through Sneem and slightly below it. We were sitting in a café. I took the shot with my Pentax K3-ii and a 16-85 mm lens. The shutter speed was 1/200 secs, the aperture f/8, the focal length 23 mm and the ISO 400.