Monday, April 21, 2014

Just the Words I Wanted to Find Today

I don't remember which television host interviewed Nora Ephron as she promoted her book "I Feel Bad About My Neck". I just know that she made me laugh and I was affected enough by the interview that I had to go out and buy the book.

The year must have been in and around 2008 (according to the date on the copyright page). I brought the book home and I wasn't in the right mood to read it. A time or two, I packed it up and took it with me so I had some light reading material if I couldn't sleep while I was away from home. But as it is with movies that I have slept through on their maiden voyage through my life and I tend to find myself thinking "If I fell asleep through it the first time, it must not be a great movie", this book (along with many great movies in my time) have been relegated to that elusive "I'll read (or watch) it when I am in the right mood. And wide awake."

Nora Ephron's book has gone through many book reshuffling binges that I have done. It always gets 'fluffed to the top' as it remains in the yet-to-be-read pile within my little personal library. I have started giving my books away because I no longer have the fortitude to stay awake, stay still or stay interested long enough to read the first chapter, let alone an entire book.

So here I was, shuffling through my books once again as I sifted through those that I did or did not choose to donate to a worthy cause. I was getting rather cynical in my thinking "If I have not read this book by now, I will never read it" I thought to myself with a snippy little attitude in my thinking voice.

Then I thumbed through the pages and the words "The world's greatest babysitter burns out after two and a half years" jumped out at me. I kept the book and sat down and actually read 50 pages the next day. She had me at  "...the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair any more is the secret upside of death". Nora was speaking my language!

Then life got distracting (let's not kid anyone here - 'busy' is not the word that describes my inability to sit still with a book. Distracted is a much better description of my chronic epidemic at play here) and I forgot about the book. Again.

I picked up the book this afternoon. Mere hours after I wrote about the frailty of life and those who are hovering in a place between life and death at this very moment, and what do I find in the closing chapters of Nora Ephron's book but some very deep and provocative thoughts about death and dying: "Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it's your last or do you save your money on the chance you'll live twenty more years? Is life too short or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can or do you slow down to smell the roses? ...."

She wrote of her friend who had died the previous year - the person she told everything to. Her best friend, her extra sister, her true mother, sometimes even her daughter. I related to so very much of what she had already written so it was no wonder that I related to this as well. Her humorous book took a turn to the serious side (with a side order of smiles even as she walked down this path).

I closed her book and I had to Google Nora Ephron. I needed to know more. Who is this masterful writer that put words to my thoughts only more cleverly, witty and interesting that I could ever manage?

The first thing that I found was her next book "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections". I need to find this book was my first thought. I want to read more about Nora (by now we were on a first name basis) was my next thought.

I quickly perused her bio on the sidebar of my Google search. Nora Ephron died on June 25, 2012. I was shell shocked.

My new friendship was doomed before it even began.

Why did it take me so long to read this book? Why did I pick it up right now? How did I manage to read the words that I most needed (wanted) to hear today? Written by an author who wrote them at least nine years ago. After the book had been sitting in our house for about six years.

"You are exactly where you are meant to be ..." and sometimes, just sometimes the right words find the way into your life when they can mean the most.

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