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I can’t get Nora Ephron out of my head.

The writer and director (and many other things) died this week at the age of 71 from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia.

She was just one of my favorites. I love funny, talented, real women. And that was her. More than two decades after When Harry Met Sally (written by Ephron), I still try to work “baby fish mouth is sweeping the nation” into my daily conversations.

You should too.

I can quote so many lines from that movie. Probably as many as the average guy can quote from Caddyshack or Fletch. Maybe more.

I wanted to love Sleepless in Seattle (directed by Ephron). But just never quite did. Maybe because I like more witty banter between my romantic leads, less pining.

I really enjoyed her books. It wasn’t until I read I Feel Bad About My Neck that it even occurred to me that I should be putting sunscreen on my neck everyday. She writes that the neck goes at 43 so I’ll let you know what happens over the next couple years.

She was spot on when she wrote, ““Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

God. That is so true.

I should have done that.

I take her advice seriously. She writes,

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”

I hear you Nora. I will get a dog. A small dog. But a dog for sure.

She’s the kind of writer that seems like a friend. Which of course is the very best kind. The kind that’s not afraid to talk about hair dye or breasts or bras or anything else.

She knew life was complicated.

Ephron had this to say in a 1996 commencement address

“Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: You can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”

Most of all, she knew how to make us laugh.

And for that, I will truly miss her.

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kelcey kintner