In the story, Louise marries Joseph Wojtkiewicz, a widower who has three children.
Louise first meets Joseph when he asks her to come and tend to his young son, who has an earache and a high fever. After giving her six-year-old patient a shot of penicillin, an alcohol rubdown to bring the fever down, and some warm oil to soothe his ear, Louise is ready to leave. However, Joseph detains her by offering her some coffee.
Not wanting to seem impolite, Louise stays to chat with Joseph; she ends up telling him about her life and her love for the island she grew up on. When she finishes, Joseph makes a startling announcement that he understands why a young woman who can have anything she wants would choose to come to a place like Truitt, a small village set in the Appalachian Mountains. Louise is initially furious with Joseph's bold familiarity but soon relaxes when he smiles. She maintains that, from the moment Joseph smiled, she knew that she was going to marry the man.
Joseph and Louise do eventually marry, and Louise soon bears a son named Truitt. Happy with her life, Louise continues to find purpose and joy in her nurturing roles as a wife, mother, and nurse-midwife.