Norma Shapiro Reichline

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Norma Shapiro Reichline

NORMA in Bill and Winter's unfinished treehouse, August '71
It was six months since we first arrived, everything felt different from
life in LA. Norma was a second year school teacher, 24 years old.
She dreamed of a fulfilling life and the sky was now the limit.

Norma flies to the amusement of all the kids

Norma at 26

Norma and Larry, July '72
Norma and I lived apart for a while in 1972. She fell in love with Larry Falk, stayed with Larry in the small
cabin, and got pregnant in the process
. I still loved Norma, yearned for her in fact. And she told me that she
she loved me, she just couldn't decide. I remember often seeing them together, focused solely on each other,
in that great love trance. It was a time of
experimentation for us all and Norma deserved her fair share of
When she discovered that she was pregnant she came to me and asked me if I would help raise Larry's
kid if she came back to me. I said of course I would, and I meant it totally. A lifetime later as she lay in intensive
care in what turned out to be the last weeks of her life, Norma told me that this was the moment
she knew I was
the right one for her. Norma did come back to me, but had a miscarriage and lost the baby. We all went
on, more experienced, wiser. After the Struggle Years we made sure to see Larry and Maggie Falk often.
now a surgeon, was the first person I called when we discovered Norma's diagnosis. He remains one of my
closest and dearest friends.


The window, 1973
She was a little embarrassed because she didn't have time to do the center flower well, but
she hung it and it stayed in our window for a long time. Neil

Enjoying a greeting card from friends, March '77


Eli in there, 1977

Norma's nursing bod, 197877normaposeindoorway.jpg
photos by Neil

photographer unknown

Norma gifted me with her unique understanding of patience and time in many ways over the years, here are two examples.

NORMAISM ONE:One morning I walked to Struggle to talk with Norma about the troubles Kim and I were having. I was complaining about how long it had been going on, when Norma asked, "How long is long?" " Atleast 6 or 7 days," I whined, to which Norma lovingly replied, " Had you said 6 or 7 years I could agree that it has been a long time, but six days is nothing in a life."

NORMAISM TWO: Norma was on the edge of going into labor with Eli the entire time Sierra was in the hospital. Late one afternoon in waiting room at Stanford we sharews our mutual fear that if she gave birth while Sierra was still in a coma, Eli might somehow replace Sierra in the cosmic soup. Looking in Norma's eyes I could see that it was only Norma's will that was keeping Eli in the womb. She had the look of a woman already in labor and I suggested that she go home and have her baby. She looked at me and said, "No, nature can be patient with me, I'll wait." and she did exactly that.