Driving Miss Norma

We’ve talked in the past about passing—dying, and doing it your way.

But what about those precious months, weeks, days … moments … leading up to the big event?

If you could suddenly hear the ticking of your life clock, what would you do with the time remaining?

Many people, right or wrong, throw themselves desperately at the feet of the medical profession, hoping beyond hope for a cure. They are willing to suffer through brutal treatments to try and extend life, often trading quality for a shot at quantity.

But not Norma Bauerschmidt.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Last fall, two days after her beloved husband Leo’s death, 90-year-old Norma received the news that she had uterine cancer. Surgery, radiation, and aggressive chemotherapy were options, but she didn’t even pause to consider them.

“A tiny woman at 101 pounds and under five-feet tall, an exhausted Norma looked the young doctor dead in the eye and with the strongest voice she could muster, said, ‘I’m 90 years old, I’m hitting the road,’” recalls her daughter-in-law, Ramie.

And, by golly, Norma meant it.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Norma’s son Tim knew that his mom couldn’t—or, rather, wouldn’t—sit still, living out her days in the quiet of a home she had shared with Leo for most of her life.

But what did that mean, exactly?

“Having recently read Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (please put this on your reading list), our best idea was to take her on the road with us. Norma currently is not in pain, her mind is sharp, she loves to travel, and she is remarkably easy to be around,” Ramie shares on the Driving Miss Norma Facebook page, where you can keep up with Norma’s adventures.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

So, together, the family “hit the road” in an RV for the journey of a lifetime.

Leave a comment 8 Comments

  1. Brenda White says:

    What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it🌷

  2. CandyC says:

    Lovely post, thank you.

  3. Denise Ross says:

    Wow, what a courageous and wonderful woman she is.

  4. Barbara says:

    I’m with Norma…

  5. Kristi Wildung says:

    I’m as so pleased that you shared this story MaryJane. I saw it linked on the Glampers Facebook page and it left me feeling so very inspired. May we all be strong women, just like Miss Norma.

  6. Joan H. says:

    Occasionally we hear great tales of people who are getting it right. Love this example! Thank you for sharing. XO

  7. Krista says:

    I love this! She is a strong and inspirational women. I completely agree with spending the rest of your life making memories and enjoying an adventure rather than sick in a hospital bed. Great story.

  8. Swan says:

    It’s so great to hear about someone choosing to celebrate life instead of kowtow to the fear – mongering allopathic establishment. I know that most all of the people in the cancer industry mean well, but so many are misinformed . . . For anybody interested in learning about the many successful cancer treatment protocols around the world, there is a comprehensive documentary that came out last fall. It’s called “The Truth about Cancer” by Ty Bollinger.

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