On Sunday, I ate my last great grapefruit. This week, I am making my way through my last carton of grapefruit juice, savoring every sip. When I am finished, I will never eat grapefruit again.
In my mid-30s, I bought 8-ounce glass grapefruit juice bottles by the carton and drank one every day. The bottles were recyclable and the juice was delicious. I know how old I was because I had a toddler who also loved the juice. Sitting on my lap and waving a bottle of juice around, she made a small chip in my tooth. I am marked by my love of grapefruit juice.
When this juice carton is empty, I will begin taking cholesterol-reducing statins. They have an unfortunate interaction with grapefruit juice, so I will stop grapefruit intake. After I received the medication, I went to the grocery store to lay in my final supply. This week is my slow farewell.
It is luxurious to have time to say goodbye. Living with progressive disability, there are so many things I can no longer do, but they crept up on me. Such is aging. I didn’t treasure my last somersault, my last run, my last walk, or the last time I felt sand between my toes. I took them for granted, assuming there would be another. It didn’t occur to me that I would someday miss them. I couldn’t fathom that one day I would wake from a dream of walking and wait to open my eyes, trying to prolong the memory of strong legs carrying me forward.
We humans say we understand this. Live each day as though it were your last… Gather ye rosebuds… où sont les neiges d’antan…
Caught up in the dailyness of our lives, we forget to treasure the moments. But, hallelujah, every now and then, something breaks through and we remember.
And so I am relishing my last grapefruit.