Snuggle up with a cup of tea and a
heart-warming holiday read from
Widowed Irishman, Brady McCormick made a promise to his young wife the day she died--to bring their son to America and begin a new life in the land of opportunity. Living in charity with a distant uncle in New York, barely scraping by, Brady is unsure he will be able to uphold the promise, much less quell the loneliness, until an angel appears at the docks, Saran Reichardt.
Headstrong and tenacious, gentlewoman Saran knows she's unlike most women of society. Dedicated to teaching and helping the impoverished, she has no need of a man to take care of her, but an accidental encounter with a stormy-eyed Irish immigrant and his young son changes her perception of what need really is. Will this holiday give them both the hope and faith they desire or will their own stubbornness keep them apart?
1857 passage from Ireland to New York
"Is it far to Uncle Stephen’s flat, Da?" Brady glanced down at his ten-year-old son through bleary eyes. They’d been crammed like sardines in the bowels of the merchant ship for weeks unable to go topside due to trade regulations. It had taken most of their savings to attain passage from
to the Americas.
"Tis not far, as I’ve been told. Your Mother's Uncle is very gracious to take us in. We should be grateful for his kindness." Brady raised his chin over the sea of disembarking passengers—most immigrants like him and Danny. They carried few possessions, if any, wrapped in crude knapsacks or rolled blankets like he and his son.
"Da, do you miss Ma?" His son, straightened his tweed cap, knocked askew by a passerby.
Brady’s heart twisted with fresh grief. His Mary Margaret had taken ill two years before they were to set sail for the
Americas. It was in the few months before their dreams
were to come true that she took a turn for the worse, not long after, she died
in her sleep. The doctor attributed it
to her body simply weakening from the virus over a period of time.
They’d known each other since they were children skipping stones along the pond bridging the properties of the family farms.
One of the last moments of bliss he remembered with his wife before her illness worsened played teasingly in his mind. He could still recall how the pal moonlight shone a swatch of shimmering light across the bed they’d shared for nigh on to eleven years.
"Think of Christmas in the
Americas, Brady. Can you imagine? I’ve heard no one starves there, and everyone
lives in their own flat."
Her gentle sigh, as always made him smile. He stroked her fiery auburn curls, by day coiled in a soft halo about her head, but at night set free to tumble luxuriously over her shoulders. Even now, his hands ached for the loss of not being able to brush her hair each night.
Brady knew her chances of actually seeing the passage through to the end were slim; still he hesitated to let her know that he’d already reconsidered the journey in lieu of staying in
"Promise me this, Brady."
Her voice, even weak, held an authoritative tone. He’d always teased her about being too bossy.
"What is it, my love? You’ll be in need of that new wardrobe before we take passage? Or is it the spinning wheel to be mended before we give it to your sister?"
"None of those, Brady."
She sighed again, giving him a half-hearted slap to his bare chest. Her palm, small and warm, lay exactly where it always lay after they made love.
"Then what is your wish, my dear wife? And since it is nearly the holidays, I suggest you choose your words carefully."
"Aye, "she whispered. "Truly, it is my fondest wish."
"Then pray woman, tell me before the dawn rises."
"Promise me that you’ll take Danny to
matter what happens."
Brady kissed the top of his young wife’s hair hoping to quell her concerns as well as his own. The thought of losing Mary Margaret was inconceivable.
"And one more promise…"
Chilly fingers of dread tickled Brady’s neck. "What is that, love?"
"That you will marry again. You are much too young and Danny will need a mother."
Brady drew her tight to his chest. "Hush, Margaret. Tis a bad omen to speak like this, you and I--together--will be taking out son to
"Aye, I know tis our plan Brady, but promise me anyway."
"I cannot promise such a thing Margaret. You’ve no right to ask such foolishness."
"Is it not foolish to hide the facts, Brady McCormick?"
"These are not facts, Mary Margaret, but fearful musings and I insist that they stop." He rested his chin in the warmth of her hair. "I will promise that we will make this journey--together."