I consider myself an orange connoisseur.
I will stand there in the grocery store picking through the pile, examining each one closely for color, size, texture and weight. I balk at the idea of buying a big 5lb bag of mediocre oranges, though I admit I will still do so every now and then to save a buck. I peel the oranges over the sink at home, leaving the rind to be washed down the disposal, filling the kitchen with the strong, sweet smell of citrus that will linger for only a moment. Today I wondered how I managed to get so picky, and so good at being picky, when it comes to my oranges… and then it hit me. I felt a tugging somewhere between my chest and my stomach – how could I have forgotten?
I craved oranges so badly while I was pregnant that I had to have at LEAST one a day. I got so good at peeling them that I could do it easily while driving – even without a napkin! I will admit that most of those peels were left to decompose or be eaten by birds on the sidewalks and woody roadsides between Emory University and our house… I even imagined that one of her nicknames would end up being orange blossom. Even now, I forget what it feels like to crave them like I did. I still eat them on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis, but I don’t have a true craving as I did back then.
It is hard to believe that, had things been different, we might have a 2 year old little girl running around the house. Terrible twos. Just saying that now sounds shallow and ungrateful… how could parents complain so much about how hard it is to raise a healthy child? But who am I to judge? If things had been just a little different wouldn’t I be the same? Wouldn’t I be complaining just like many other moms? Complaining about how hard it is? How tired I am? How I need a break? How I need to sneak a glass of wine while locked in the bathroom?… Maybe… but things aren’t different, and instead I am here, writing about oranges and how they remind me of the daughter that we didn’t get the chance to raise, that we don’t get to hold or kiss, the one that we instead had to bury.
This was an excerpt from my personal journal dated May, 21st 2017.
Peace, Be Well.