From Tracie: The Only Kiss

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Only Kiss

My paternal grandfather always leaned over to give my grandmother a quick kiss before he left the house, and another kiss when he returned. It was consistent and sweet, this small display of love.

I remember Valentine's Day, when I was fourteen. I had spent the weekend at a Disciple Now retreat, and returned home that Sunday, after church. 

My house seemed a slightly different place than I had left. My parents had bought a new computer desk that was sitting in the space between the family room and kitchen. Across from the new desk was our kitchen table, with a vase of lovely, yellow roses sitting in the middle. Everything was clean, neat and tidy. 

My parents seemed slightly different, too. More happy than usual. There was an air of giddiness in the house that I was not used to feeling. 

We ate dinner that night, unremarkable except that it was one of the few meals eaten sitting at the table.  

My father left the room to retrieve gifts. A large, white teddy bear for me, with a box of candy. For my mom, another box of candy and a necklace. 

He leaned over and gave her a quick kiss. 

In my childhood, there may have been other kisses and hugs shared between my parents, but this kiss is the only one that I remember. 

Maybe that weekend without a kid around took them back to the early years of their marriage, or maybe it was the united effort to clean the house and put together the new desk that changed things...whatever it was, my parents were slightly different that day. A difference that would not last.

Today, when Thomas left for work, he said "I love you" and leaned over to give me a kiss. After the door closed, I thought of kisses never shared, and words not often spoken, and a marriage that did not survive. 

The Red Dress Club prompt:
This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory.

Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out.


  1. Beautiful post, Tracie. I tend to shy away from lots of PDA, but I realize my kids probably need to see more affection b/t my husband and me. Does that sound strange? I want them to remember more...

    You did a lovely job with this prompt!

  2. I believe it is so important that our children see that we love each other. Of course there are lines that need not be crossed with PDA in front of them. But if we don't show our children that we live our spouses, how will they learn to reciprocate that kiss or hug to their future spouse. Well written Tracie

  3. I love your posts based on past memories. They are always so honest and tie together so beautifully.

  4. This is excellent. I like the way you wove the events together across time.Great post.

  5. You told so much in so few words. The power of what is not done and said is huge, isn't it?

    I love the focus on the kiss, the details- yellow flowers, clean, eating at the table and the weave between past and present.

  6. Beautiful job with the details in this piece. So much is spoken through words that are not said. This post was very powerful.

  7. I love the way you intertwined memories to the present. Beautiful. My husband and I always kiss before we leave. Are we a sappy couple? Totally

  8. Nicely written. I love the concise descriptions here that say so much. I like the way the house is so changed when you come back. And that sad. Despite the computer desk and beautiful red roses.

  9. I loved this, the descriptions so big and bold that I could have been standing in that room.

    I also loved the last paragraph, it was poetic and perfect.

  10. My husband gives me a kiss before he leaves for work and when he returns home.
    I think that it's just part of our routine and a good one to have.

  11. There is such sensitivity conveyed in your words. First the fact that you noticed the details of what had changed in your absence. You noted not only the physical changes but what had to have changed in the relationship to accomplish them...the shared effort. Then at the end I felt you were feeling both an appreciation for the relationship you share with your husband and a sense of loss for your parents that they had not known the same.
    So nice!

  12. So sweet and tender Tracie. Thank you for your warm welcome back. I have missed you.

  13. I felt your loss at the end. So sorry you had to experience that but so glad you have such a sweet memory that has stuck with you all these years. Such an easy read that flowed well and wonderful detail. Visiting from TRDC

  14. It's funny what kids notice, isn't it? What a beautiful glimpse into your childhood.

    Great post!

  15. poignant, and revealing about your observations. thank you for this look into your childhood, and that the kis recently made you think back to the one you remember witnessing.

  16. I love your is sad, but I love the words you chose.

  17. Beautiful and sad. Well done. I enjoyed this.

  18. This post was honest, and truthful.

    The kind of post where personal growth comes from.

    This is just wonderful work.

    Great and real.

  19. Just watched your video about survival.... You are amazing & soooooooo utterly inspiring.
    thank you for sharing that story.
    It seriously took my breath away.

    Kim sisto Robinson.

  20. I love that you are in a relationship much like your grandparents were.

  21. I think people forget how important little things like that are in a relationship. Thanks for the reminder.