There are so many things we tend to take for granted. For me, yogurt was one of them. To be specific, soy yogurt. For the past 15 years, I have enjoyed a nutritious and delicious breakfast that included a 6 ounce serving of Whole Soy yogurt, usually blueberry or strawberry. Earlier this year, in an attempt to reduce my sugar intake, I switched to their unsweetened plain version and touched it up with a dab of applesauce. I love – excuse me, loved – the taste and texture of this yogurt… smooth, creamy, filling and healthy.

About a year ago, Whole Soy yogurt dwindled on the shelves of my local grocery store, sending me into a tizzy in terms of my breakfast routine. I soon learned the company’s co-packer had abruptly closed its doors, leaving Whole Soy without a way to package its product. Thus, the vanishing yogurts.

Whole Soy asked for customers’ patience and loyalty until they could build their own new packing plant. We were more than willing to wait.

During the interim, I scrounged around for other soy yogurts and made do with what was available. It was a good lesson in adjusting one’s expectations and letting go of something over which I had no control. Delays ensued while Whole Soy kept pushing back their expected date for delivering yogurts in the Northwest.

Eventually, I was rewarded with the delight of, once again, devouring my favorite yogurt. For a month or so, I was very happy, at least yogurt-wise.

Then the worst happened. I noticed that my store’s supply of Whole Soy yogurt was again dwindling. What gives? I’d find only one flavor left, something obscure like mango. After a week of this, the company’s website gave me a shock. Whole Soy had decided it was too hard to pay off the debt of building the new plant and meet current operating expenses. They had decided to close. Disaster! Or so it felt to some of us.

On the Whole Soy blog, dozens of customers expressed their strong dismay and more than a little desperation. “Yours is the only soy yogurt my special needs daughter can eat!” “I’ve tried all the other brands and yours is the only decent one out there.” “I’d be willing to pay double. We’ll help you pay off the debt.” “There’s no other kosher unsweetened soy yogurt out there.” And at least ten comments: “Start a Kickstarter campaign!!!” I sent my own list of suggestions to the owner of the company. No response to any of us.

One day I faced reality. It was a done deal. My soy yogurt was about to disappear into oblivion. When, I didn’t know, but soon. I went to the nearby store and bought up all the remaining containers on the shelf. Grand total: 8.

Over the next week, I ate breakfast more deliberately than usual. When it came to my soy yogurt, I slowed down, doing my very best to taste each and every spoonful, determined to memorize everything about it, swirling each bite around in my mouth before swallowing. Nothing ever tasted so good to me.
A song you can record and save it forever. What can you do with yogurt?

Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two….

Then I was down to the last yogurt. I carefully removed the lid, gingerly set my spoon into the container, swirled it around. I began, bite by bite, slowly, even more slowly than before, noticing everything I could, trying to memorize every sensation. Even so, five minutes later the deed was done.

I carefully washed out the empty yogurt container and tucked it in a safe place on the second shelf of a kitchen cabinet Every time I see the photo of blueberries on the front, I remember that its contents had brought me pleasure and health over the years.

I hope I’ve learned my lesson. I had something really, really good in that soy yogurt. However, the first 12,999 times, I pretty much forgot to notice.

A few months have passed since then. I wish I could tell you I’ve moved on and found something better, but I haven’t. The soy yogurts I’ve tried are miserable substitutes in comparison – watery, soggy, tasteless (just my opinion.)

Once a year, I dip apples in honey to remind myself of the sweetness of life and our wishes for a sweet new year. Because of The Last Yogurt – and knowing the bees are having a hard time – I paid more attention to the honey this year. That’s a start.

I hope I will never again wait until the “last” of anything to notice what’s good, precious and right in front of me.

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