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Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying

Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living

by Tim Bauerschmidt, Ramie Liddle

Narrated by Christopher Grove, Nan McNamara

Unabridged — 7 hours, 30 minutes

Tim Bauerschmidt
Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying

Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living

by Tim Bauerschmidt, Ramie Liddle

Narrated by Christopher Grove, Nan McNamara

Unabridged — 7 hours, 30 minutes

Tim Bauerschmidt

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Overview

When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Norma-newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage-rose to her full height of five feet and told her doctor, "I'm ninety years old. I'm hitting the road."

Packing what she needed, Norma took off on an unforgettable cross-country journey with three professional nomads-her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their Standard Poodle Ringo-in a thirty-six-foot RV. Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road-a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us that it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.

As this once timid woman says "yes" to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, zip-lines through a former stranger's yard, and reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon. With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma's health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life- strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.

Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian's wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, Driving Miss Norma reminds us that life is beautiful and precious, and that family, fun, and self-discovery can happen at any age.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 03/27/2017
At 90, Bauerschmidt, newly widowed, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Instead of having surgery and enduring months of recovery, she opted to join her retired son, Tim, and daughter-in-law, Ramie, on a grand adventure as they cruise the U.S. in their “mobile assisted living home.” For the first time, as Bauerschmidt writes in this endearing memoir, they got to know one another as adults, and their trip transformed into a warm, thoughtful, and meaningful conversation on family, aging, caretaking, and what happens when you look to other ways to heal besides Western medicine. Along the way, they encountered tremendous interest and kindness from strangers who learned about Norma through Facebook updates and a CBS segment. The trio were feted at parades and treated to home-cooked meals, and they celebrated Norma’s birthday with courtside seats at an NBA game. The months on the road were nourishing for Norma, who saw some of her symptoms disappear, and also very therapeutic for Tim and Ramie, who had led itinerant lives free of obligations for years. Tim, Ramie, and Norma’s travels are joyful and moving; it’s no surprise that their story that has gotten international coverage and touched more than a half million fans. Norma’s willingness to be fearless and open to whatever comes her way, even trying cannabis cream, offers profound insights into how we choose to live. (May)

From the Publisher

This touching memoir…lays bare the fragile reality of human life, the deep strength of family bonds, and what it means to truly take in all the world has to offer.” — Mindful

“For the first time, as Bauerschmidt writes in this endearing memoir, they got to know one another as adults, and their trip transformed into a warm, thoughtful, and meaningful conversation on family, aging, caretaking, and what happens when you look to other ways to heal besides Western medicine.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Depicting the ageless human capacity to learn and grow, the authors celebrate life and offer a heartfelt vision of what dying a good death really means. An uplifting and life-affirming memoir” — Kirkus

“This is a delightful chronicle of a family determined to celebrate life rather than dread death, and everyone can learn from their courage.” — Booklist, Starred Review

“This story of a brave woman is truly inspiring. Living the way you want, when it matters most, needs to become the norm at the end of life.” — Bill Novelli, cofounder and co-chair of Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

“What a legacy Ms. Norma has left us! Too often, when advanced illness strikes, patients and their families feel like powerless spectators. Too often, their wishes are not honored, or even known. Ms. Norma made her wishes known, and they were honored. Each of us deserves such a happy ending.” — Eric Schneidewind, President of AARP

Eric Schneidewind

What a legacy Ms. Norma has left us! Too often, when advanced illness strikes, patients and their families feel like powerless spectators. Too often, their wishes are not honored, or even known. Ms. Norma made her wishes known, and they were honored. Each of us deserves such a happy ending.

Starred Review Booklist

This is a delightful chronicle of a family determined to celebrate life rather than dread death, and everyone can learn from their courage.

Bill Novelli

This story of a brave woman is truly inspiring. Living the way you want, when it matters most, needs to become the norm at the end of life.

Mindful

This touching memoir…lays bare the fragile reality of human life, the deep strength of family bonds, and what it means to truly take in all the world has to offer.

Kirkus Reviews

2017-03-02
A traveler/retiree's account of the lessons he learned about living well from touring the country with his dying nonagenarian mother.Bauerschmidt and his wife, Liddle, loved their nomadic travel-trailer lifestyle for the "simplicity and clarity" it offered them. But they also worried about what would happen to his aging parents when they could no longer take care of themselves. After his father's sudden death from organ failure, he learned that his mother, Norma, was dying of cancer. Certain only that Norma deserved to experience happiness, he accepted the challenge of caring for his mother on the open road. In chapters that alternate between Bauerschmidt's and Liddle's voices, the book follows the trio along a route that took them from Norma's home in Michigan all across America. Almost immediately, living together in close quarters changed them and how they treated each other. The formality and distance that had characterized Bauerschmidt's relationship with his mother dissipated. Made newly vulnerable, he became closer to her and was able to grieve the death of a younger sister he had lost years before. Meanwhile, Norma's shyness and stoicism gave way to joy. She learned to revel in experiences that included everything from watching Yellowstone geysers in Wyoming and an Indian tribal dance in New Mexico to trying a cannabis-based pain-relieving cream in Colorado and hot-air ballooning in Florida. Liddle, a woman who had been used to serving large communities, found unexpected reward in the renewed sense of purpose Norma gave her. The openness that characterized their relationship allowed all three to be at peace with Norma's ultimate decision to discontinue all medical assistance and "die a natural death [and not deal] with the side effects of medication, or being hooked up to artificial means." Depicting the ageless human capacity to learn and grow, the author celebrates life and offers a heartfelt vision of what dying a good death really means. An uplifting and life-affirming memoir.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173487490
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/02/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews