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366 Days of Writing Prompts – Day 88

March 28, 2016

Happy happy joy joy

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness.
When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

For nine years, between April 2005 and October 2014, I lived in Oklahoma. I was born and raised in the mountains of Virginia and going west was not exactly my choice. It was my husband’s choice. He was from there and wanted to move back there. I protested at first, but finally went along with it. It became my biggest life choice mistake.

I was horribly miserable living there. All of my friends and family were in Virginia. I mourned for them for the first year that I was there. My depression worsened. I couldn’t make friends and I wasn’t very well accepted by the husband’s family. They weren’t rude to me, I could just tell I wasn’t what they expected.

I tried to come home in 2006 for a friend’s wedding. I bought the bus ticket, the luggage, but I was beginning to suffer from Agoraphobia and eventually, I couldn’t go. The anxiety was too great. I also tried to come home in 2008 when my mother passed away. Our car couldn’t make it and we were going to rent a car, but because we didn’t have a credit card, the rental company wanted to put a freeze on our bank account to cover costs. My husband refused to do that, so I didn’t get to come home. With each passing year, I thought I would never see my beloved Virginia again. I will attach a poem I wrote about Virginia at the end of this post.

In 2014, I realized that my marriage was over. No hope for reconciliation. We’d already tried that four times. I had a modest income with my disability, so I made arrangements with my dad to come live with him. On October 5, 2014 @ 3:05 am, I boarded the bus home. I was terrified during most of the trip. I’d never traveled alone on a bus and I was frightened that I would board the wrong bus, lose my luggage, or worse. My mind was a mess of anxious thoughts.

Still, I did okay. The next morning, we drove through Tennessee and just as we hit the Virginia border and I saw those gorgeous mountains, I began to cry tears of joy. I never thought I would get home again and  I’d never been so happy to see my beloved state. I think I cried all the way to Roanoke, where I arrived before coming home to Clifton Forge.

And now for the poem, as promised:


A Letter to Virginia in Autumn

My dearest Virginia —

The air is crisp and cool tonight
not fevered as nights’ past
I smell Autumn and long for you —

I remember the last time
we walked together
your dress
of yellow, orange and flame red
swished in the late afternoon air
I could have watched you forever
dancing along the beaten trails
We sat and scattered our lunch
among the browning leaves —
with bellies bloated, we stretched out
your bronze head rested upon my chest
I gazed into the filtered sunlight
and thought
there could be no better life than this

O Virginia!
I miss your curves and valleys
my fingers dipping into your silky lakes
bathing in your scent of pine and redbud
caressing shivered slate ridges —
my arms ache to embrace
your harvest
where you give and give
your bounty in abundance —
Such passion I’ve never known since

Sweet love —
if I could but see you again
feel your laughter against my skin
taste the Autumn rain upon your lips
Surely that would sustain me —

As I gaze up into the filtered sunlight
leaves beginning to blush
I think of you, My sweet Virginia —
these Oklahoma Autumns are sun-dusted
and barren
compared to you

Call me home, Virginia!
I am brown leaves, parched —
Call me home!
the frigid chill of Winter is so near
O Virginia –-
if I could have just one sip
from your maple-dripping lips
I could live once more
I could live

©2013 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.


How about you, dear readers? When was the last time you cried tears of joy? Share with me in comments.

  1. Your post was very moving. Glad you made it home.

  2. dhirajanand permalink

    When I saw my beloved wife after my operation and post operation recovery time, it was so painful and they had drugged me heavy that during post operative recovery ward I felt as if I had travelled to another world after death. The moment I saw her I burst in to tears, realizing I am alive and she is standing by me as always.

  3. Gotta love Richard ! I think my last tears of joy were at my niece’s wedding. Yes, I’m one of those aunts 🙂

    • Ahhh.. that is so sweet 🙂 I’ve missed all of my niece’s weddings.. maybe I will get to see some grand-nieces get married

  4. When I realised there was one chocolate bar left in the cupboard, after all.
    PS Happy Easter, Lori 🙂

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