|Miss Norma and Ringo|
At the beginning of this book, Norma Bauerschmidt makes two enormous decisions that drive the stories within her story. First, when faced with months of draining medical procedures for treatment of what is expected to be terminal uterine cancer, Miss Norma chooses not to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemo. She decides to live out her life outside the confines of a hospital. In conjunction with that courageous decision, Bauerschmidt accepts an invitation from Tim and Ramie to take to the road with them in their RV. It is this coming together that will completely transform all of their lives.
Though the journey begins with the hopes of checking off some of Miss Norma's "Bucket List" items, it is her reluctance to compose such a list that makes for the possibility of a more fulfilling trip. In the course of taking it one day at a time, one delightful encounter at a time, Miss Norma and her family discover beautiful new ways of communicating and connecting.
As their experiences are shared via social media and national news outlets, Miss Norma becomes an international sensation with over half a million followers on Facebook. Her life becomes her message, inspiring countless others to truly embrace fullness of living. Everywhere she goes, total strangers become caught up in wanting to enrich Miss Norma's days. The lines begin to blur in terms of who is enriching whom. All that really matters is that Miss Norma's growing sense of wonder creates an energy and magic that draws others in. By choosing to say yes to life, Miss Norma and family start a powerful chain reaction.
I was drawn to Miss Norma's story by my own family circumstances. When my mother was diagnosed with multiple cancers, I had this dream of going on the road with her in my RV. I had a deep desire to be a part of something that might be meaningful for my mom during her season of dealing with mortality and end-of-life issues. Sadly, I never got to take that trip with my mother. Reading this book, and vicariously embarking on Miss Norma's journey, has touched my spirit in vital ways. It has renewed my desire to be a person who makes it possible for these kinds of life-affirming journeys to take place.
We all have the opportunity to be the driver on the journey of life. I encourage you to read Driving Miss Norma. It is quite likely to inspire you to hit the road. I hope to meet up with you along the way.
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