Seven and a half months ago, Good News Network shined the media spotlight on Driving Miss Norma: a 90-year-old woman who said ‘no’ to cancer treatment and ‘yes’ to the open road.
After a year long adventure, Norma’s journey ended on September 30th when she died following her fight against cancer.
In September 2015, Norma Jean Bauerschmidt’s husband of 67 years passed away the same week that she was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer. When the doctors were explaining the chemotherapy and treatment options, Norma looked him in the eye and said “I’m 90 years old – I’m hitting the road.”
In an RV with her son Tim and his wife Ramie, the family started traveling the United States. Her bucket list adventures ranged from hot balloon rides, to whale watching, to root beer float parties – even to scooter rides with a dog as a co-pilot.
But as they reached Washington in early August, the party started to slow as Norma’s condition worsened.
On dealing with loss, Norma once told the Good News Network, “Keep praying every day and God will take care of you, even when it feels like you can’t care for yourself.”
Now as her 485,000 Facebook followers say goodbye to the inspiring adventurer, that advice becomes all the more special.
“It dawned on us that all of you are our people,” Ramie wrote to the Facebook followers. “You have been traveling with us and cheering us on throughout this magical journey. Now that we are entering a new chapter, we hope that everyone will continue to ride the global wave of love that you all have created with us on Facebook.”
Today, Norma will be buried next to her husband Leo with a Celebration of Life funeral in Friday Harbor, Washington.
Though her shenanigans on the American roads have ended, we like to think that death might simply be her next great adventure.