For the Love of Nora
My friends and I all feel like we just lost a close girlfriend with Nora Ephron’s untimely death at age 71. She made us laugh with her self-deprecating humor in her books, I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Don’t Remember Anything and her wonderful screenplays ranging from Heartburn, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally (who can forget Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm scene in the deli?), Julie and Julia and more.
I posted an earlier article after seeing her entertaining play Love, Loss and What I Wore. I can’t help but wonder what title she would have given a book about her battle with leukemia for the last six years. Perhaps, I Hate My Disease? This brought my thoughts back to Dr. DeFelice’s recurring theme of who represents patients and what do patients want? Of course, a cure for the disease that will end their lives rather than the healthcare they receive while dying.
I just watched Barbara Walters give a moving tribute about her close friend on The View. I remember Barbara lost her sister at a young age to ovarian cancer and also that President Obama lost his mother to ovarian cancer, another deadly disease without a cure on the horizon. Dr. DeFelice’s efforts to recruit ovarian cancer patients for a promising clinical trial have sadly gone unnoticed.
Where are the cures? Perhaps Dr. DeFelice’s Doctornaut Initiative will garner attention in the future to help accelerate medical discoveries. He has been on a crusade for this for over 40 years since his first book Drug Discovery: The Pending Crisis.
In the meantime, we have lost a talented and delightful writer who will be sorely missed by her many readers and friends. Dr. DeFelice particularly enjoyed her six word memoir “Secret to Success: Marry an Italian!” And remember that she was happily married to her third husband , Nicholas Pileggi, for 25 years !
My Skidmore College friends and I are all turning 60 this year and love to discuss her clever essays. We plan to write our own book with the title “800 Years of Wit and Wisdom” based upon our combined ages. I think we will dedicate our book to Nora and hope she enjoys a heavenly smile.