I am so sad. I didn’t even know she was sick. And she was so young, only 71.
Why do I feel so bad about the passing of someone who I never even met?
Because she had a way of making me feel like I knew her well. She shared so many intimacies and made fun of them – made the best out of them.
I first “met” Nora in Heartburn. I remembering reading the book in the 80s and thinking how clever that she intertwined recipes throughout – what a neat idea. I took note of that for the future. And here I am now, a visual artist, writing a blog and writing recipes! In the movie, when she has her second son and her husband gives her a beautiful sapphire ring after she just delivered the baby, (course he was guilty as hell, having an affair), I thought wow, as I was pregnant with our second child. I wonder if my husband will give me a fancy piece of jewelry. Ha! No jewelry and he thought I could get home from Lenox Hill by myself in a taxi with the baby and 20 flower arrangements. But my husband wasn’t having an affair. (At least I don’t think so.)
This is the thing, with Nora, you felt like you had so much in common. (I actually met Meryl Streep at our local organic farm store upstate last summer. Until we watched Heartburn that night, I had forgotten that Meryl was in the movie, playing the real life Nora!)
She was raised Jewish. I was raised Catholic. She wrote Love Loss and What I Wore. I would write Love, Loss and What I Ate!
When I moved back to NYC in 2007, I remember hearing about her book, I Feel Bad About my Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Since that came out, I have been religious about putting on neck cream every single day, and she’s right about having to shave your legs less as you get older. I think about that in the shower every morning. And she doesn’t even know how much she’s influenced me! How many others like me are out there?
Recently, I read an interview with Nora in the NY Times Magazine and she said that she was so glad that she no longer had to worry about financial things – that she was thankful that was out of the way. I hope to get to that place soon too.
Rest in peace Nora. We will all miss your wit and insights.