[updated] Yes, I want a Fanta (Fanta). *tears*
The original post has been updated below.
It's no secret that I write a lot about grief — it's been a significant part of my life. Today, I'm writing about a different kind of grief. In fact, a part of me is ashamed to even acknowledge it, but here goes. A few months ago, I discovered an amazing new drink — Coca-Cola's Fanta Dragon Fruit Zero Sugar. I absolutely love it, and I've just learned that it's only available until July 10, 2022 —which is just two-and-a-half weeks away. Sigh.
If you've known me for quite a while, you've probably heard me say, "I don't drink soda." At the time, you might have been surprised that I said "soda" since I live in Atlanta, where it's rumored that we refer to everything as "coke." You might have also been taken aback because my soda-free streak continued for more than a decade at its peak.
When I lived in the hospital as Ramón, my husband, underwent cancer treatment in 2019, I began drinking the occasional soda. There aren't many sources of joy in the hospital, but the vending machine is definitely one of them. I began treating myself to the occasional soda, often inspired by my desire for more caffeine. The next year, in 2020, Ramón spent more than 4 months in the hospital before he died, and I was there for most of it. I began treating myself more and more frequently. "Why not?," I thought. I was at the lowest point in my life.
I've continued to drink the occasional soda since then, maybe about once per week. A few months ago, I was at a pharmacy when the beautiful pink liquid caught my eye. I could not leave there without buying it, especially when I saw the zero-sugar distinction. The first taste was like magic, and I started looking for Dragon Fruit Fanta everywhere I went. Its elusive nature made me even more motivated to find it. I have, at most, two 20-ounce bottles per week, but I cherish every sip.
Now, with a heavy heart, I grieve its eventual disappearance. I might sound like I'm being facetious, but I mean it. I'm straight-up bummed that it's going away. The pink Fanta has brought me joy on many challenging days, and I envisioned it being one of life's simple pleasures much longer than a couple of months.
If you know someone at Coca-Cola (or a retailer) that can help me stockpile it, consider me interested. This grief undoubtedly pales in comparison to other things I've faced, but I'm disappointed nonetheless.
I'll do my best to enjoy every sip until the Fanta runs dry.
Update: July 8, 2022
After writing the post above, I received an email from someone from Legend PR, the firm that represents Fanta.
It read, in part:
We saw your blog post about your love for Dragon Fruit Zero Sugar. We loved reading about your personal connection to soda and the way simple pleasures, like good snacks and treats, can bring joy to even the most challenging of days. While we share your grief in the soda's limited time offer–we wanted to reach out and see if you would be interested in receiving a gift from Fanta to express our appreciation for the love you have for our pink exotic friend.
MY PINK EXOTIC FRIEND! The email filled my heart with joy. Not only was it awesome because, well, HOW AWESOME! But I also needed a pick-me-up because I'd just learned a dear friend of mine's AML has relapsed. (Ramón and I met her (Megan) though Instagram; they were diagnosed within a few months of each other.)
The email was a pleasant reminder that you never know what will happen if you put yourself out there. After writing the post, I almost didn't publish it because I worried it was ridiculous. But, even if it was, I received an incredible gift box last Friday.
I'm sending a big THANK YOU to Chris at Legend PR!
Today I will toast to you and my pink exotic friend!