Books, Gratitude

The List

Recently, I’ve been in a Nora Ephron phase. No, not lying around watching endless hours of ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’.

Jennifer Abrams, a communications consultant that I follow, mentioned Nora’s ‘What I Will Miss and Won’t Miss” list from I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections. I picked up a copy of Nora’s memoir and was immediately drawn into the funny, clever, and uncannily relatable stories (although to my knowledge, I was never in a smoke-filled New York newsroom in 1964, I now feel that I have been). I became engrossed in Nora’s style, fascinating life, and striking honesty.

What did disappoint me, at least upon my initial reading, was Nora’s ‘list’. Maybe I had built it up in my mind so much that I unrealistically expected more. I was sad that her ‘Will Miss’ section ended with ‘pie’ and that Nora directly referred more to missing food than to missing people (People: 5, Food: 10). This got me thinking about what would be on my list.

I haven’t yet set out to tackle either section of my list fully, but I do have some items floating around in my head that definitely will be included. Since I believe that I will never lose the essence of the most important people in my life, it is the little things about them that often come to mind.  I will miss:

  • My husband’s uncontrolled fits of laughter when he is alone watching TV, or reading, and thinks that no one is listening
  • My son’s habit of ALWAYS eating when we chat together on Skype (and since he will think that this point is lame– I will also miss the incredible travel that we have experienced together)
  • My stepsons’ storytelling – I laugh even anticipating their versions of a particular family event
  • The antics of our 11-year old Husky, most of which he learned from our Lab (who is very much missed)
  • The inspiration, and confidences, of my friends
  • My niece’s cut-to-the-chase honesty – and her deadpan delivery of this truthfulness
  • Being a grandmother
  • Shopping with my mother–which has nothing at all to do with shopping, and everything to do with my mom
  • My sister. I have missed her every single day for the past ten years

And if including food, it would have to be hot corn-on-the-cob, generously salted and dripping with melted butter…followed by fresh berries with vanilla ice-cream.

What I won’t miss includes meanness, arrogance, and self-righteousness in all of their related disguises.

Nora provided 31 items that she  ‘will miss’ and 23 items that she won’t.  This gives me plenty of room to continue with my own list, as I have much more to add.

What about you? What’s on your list?






7 thoughts on “The List”

  1. After reading your post “The List”, I realized that I have done that on my own blog. I wrote a “what I miss’ list about my 2 sons and one about my dad who passed away 20+ years ago. I think it is a wonderful idea not only for my own memories but also for those who do not think we remember the little things. Please check out my blog and let me know what you think of my “what I miss” lists.


    1. Great posts, Ellen ( I miss many of the same things that you do, especially “the sound of my young son’s little, slippered footsteps sneaking into my bedroom in the early morning”. And like you, I also miss the sound of my father’s voice. Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. I had read Nora’s book awhile ago (also, I Feel Bad About My Neck – a classic!), but, for some reason, don’t remember the lists (maybe because I remember nothing). It’s probably time to read both gems again. I love your lists, especially, of course, the non-food one… although I do dearly love corn-on-the-cob!


  3. I have heard that making a list is a way of procrastinating. Recently, I simply put the paper on the counter of my kitchen so I could go grocery shopping. I did not make a list. Two days later I finally went and shopped without one.

    If my life were to change and nothing would be the same, I would miss that…the non-hurried no need for anything pace. My life is so simple. I like it that way.


  4. Donna, I don’t really know what’s on my list yet. So now, I need to add the books to my library and give it some thought! I love you focus on the people you love! Clearly, you have your priorities straight! Have a great weekend! ~Lynn


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