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 90 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 36-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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Miss Norma, your journey inspires mine. TY.
- John J. Gillen