The Kiss

Going through some old photos with Mom earlier this fall, we came across one that stopped me in my tracks.

Featured was a young couple, obviously happy to see each other, locked in a passionate embrace.

It’s a photo so intimate that I feel a bit voyeuristic just looking at it.

You see, I knew the people in the photo. But I never knew them like that.

I remember seeing shared smiles between them and I certainly recall him holding the door for her and, on occasion, taking her hand.  They were both very dignified, modest and perhaps even a bit shy.

In all my life of knowing them, I never saw anything that resembled this.

His strong Swedish arms wrapped around her, his wide hands clasped behind her back.  Her head tilted slightly to the left, leaning into him and his kiss.

His cheeks, flushed with sunshine and good health; his eyes closed in the moment. Her stockings, dress and heels;  her arms around tucked in at his waist.

I don’t know where this was taken, but as soon as I saw it, I knew who it was: My paternal Grandparents, Ausser and Pearl.

As one of their 19 grandchildren, being privy to this image reminds me that, once upon a time, they were young and their love was new. Each touch .. an inspiration.

And although I witnessed their enduring devotion to each other, having attended their 50th, 60th and 70th Wedding Anniversary parties, it’s the sweet young love seen below that stopped me in my tracks.

"The Kiss"; an emjayandthem photo(C)

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you

When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
And now my consolation is in the stardust of a song

Beside the garden wall
When stars are bright …
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
Of paradise where roses bloom.

And though I dream in vain
There always will remain
… My stardust melody
The memory of love’s refrain.


Categories: Beauty, Family, Love, Personal, Relationships, Romance | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “The Kiss

  1. Oh, MJ, this is wonderful!!! Isn’t it amazing to see a photo like this of family members when they were so young??
    Wonder how many other readers will do as I did: click on the You-tube to listen to the song and then return to look at your grandparent’s photo.
    I’m teary-eyed. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • thank you, Dianna. I knew you would “get” where I was headed with this … They likely never listened to Willie in their lifetime as Lawrence Welk was more their style .. but the lyrics of “Stardust” just seemed to fit the photo for me.
      Beautiful couple .. enduring legacy of love, for all of us.
      .. MJ

  2. I echo Dianna. This is a wonderful photo and something like this would certainly stop me dead in my tracks. I must say there is no picture like this in our family album…I will have to ask my mother if she knows of one. This is a moment/photo to cherish. And your Willie Nelson accompaniment is a perfect backdrop.

    • Thank you; If I had to put $$ on it, I would not have thought this existed. They were very dignified people and I am delighted to have found this photo that tells … more of the story. Cheers! MJ

  3. Absolutely agree with above comments…none in my family album that I know of and I am the keeper of the photo vault!

  4. That is a beautiful photo – proof that in spite of all the things in this world that are troublesome and painful, and of all the things we think are so important – it is love that is always enduring.

    Love it!

  5. what a great find…and I have to confess my absolute favorite version of Stardust is by Nat King Cole…no offense intended toward ol’ Willie

  6. I love it – right down to the long shadow of the one taking the picture. Isn’t it odd to think of our parents and grandparents as having young exciting lives? How beautiful to know that it lasted the test of time. Just one more thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

    • My Auntie informed me that the photo was taken at my Great-Grandparent’s home, Israel and Clara’s, and I wonder if she might have been the one taking the photo?
      You’re right … we’re not used to thinking of them as young .. he was 63 in 63 when I was born, after all. But yes, their love stood the test of time.

      When it was time to move from the farm, they did so together. When it was time to move from their Assisted Living Suite to the Nursing Home, they did so together. And I so agree, their example of long-lasting love and devotion is definitely something to be thankful for.

  7. Doesn’t seem as though old photo’s like that surface often…Maybe because folks didn’t display that kind of emotion back in them days? I’m pretty sure I don’t have a picture nor have I ever seen a picture of my grandparents in that kind of PDA…Public Display of Emotion…:)
    Yours is beyond sweet and priceless to boot! Good idea setting it all to Willie’s Stardust song.

    • Thank you, D. I would not have thought such a picture existed in our archives, either. It took seeing it in person to really believe it.

      They were kind, hard-working, and generous. They welcomed us grandkids with open arms and loved nothing more than when we showed up .. just in time for lunch. I am so fortunate to have had them.

      Cheers! MJ

  8. Your story and photo remind me of my Grandma Ripley’s story of when Grandpa was courting her, and her future mother in law would get concerned that the “petting” would get too “heavy.” I asked Grandma “What the heck is “heavy petting?!” She just smiled. A good memory MJ…thank you for bringing it back.

  9. How often do we pretend that part of our life never happened.Perhaps we should just embrace it. wonderful post.

    • Honestly had never really thought of them as young; Grandpa was 63 when I was born and her hair went white in her 40s, I’m told. They were a steady (older) fixture in my life. Being able to peek into theirs makes me smile.
      Cheers! MJ

  10. Wow, what a beautiful photo. You should have it framed.

  11. This is so beautiful. Very meaningful to me to see the youth of a long ago generation. My own 90 year old grandmother is in ICU tonight, dying, I believe, and with her goes the last of her generation in our family. It is amazing, isn’t it, to know that they were young and busy once, very different from the frail people at the end.
    I can tell from your words that you loved them. You were fortunate, and I have been too, to know these people that helped to create and shape our heritage.
    Thank you for sharing, and the song fits beautifully! One of my favorites. ~ Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila. I am sorry to hear the news of your Grandmother; I hope that if she passes, it’s peaceful and painless for her and all of you.

      I agree; it is amazing to have a photographic evidence of their youth & vitality. I loved them dearly but this photo opens my eyes to them all these years after their passing.

      Bests to you,

  12. Oh wow, that photo is just magical!!

  13. Yay!!!I fixed whatever was wrong with my computer and now I can tell you how much I loved this post! Seeing our ancestors as people…always gives us a better realization of who we are. Thank you.

    • I’m so glad, thank you Lissa. I agree, seeing them as people is eye-opening and for me, it changes my whole perception just a little 🙂 MJ

  14. Pingback: ABCs – easy as 1-2-3 | Emjayandthem's Blog

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