• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

In Memory of Reverend Norma Roberts

Norma J. Roberts, MA, DASD

Consultant, Coach, Spiritual Director


Ned (Bud) O. Roberts, D. Min.

Licensed Clinical Professional, Counselor, Fellow AAPC


A Letter That I Wrote In 2016

Bud & Norma,

I genuinely appreciate (both of) your skills and kindnesses in helping me sort through family dynamics in order to be the best daughter I could be in caring for my parents in the last eight years of their lives. How lucky I was to have found you. It enabled me to have healing experiences and exchanges with my parents that I would not have had in any other way. Most importantly for me personally, knowing the two of you released blocks of confusion so that my life is now much, much better.


Today when I was sorting through my file cabinets, I found the folder of your kind cards and insightful therapy exercises, and reading them made me realize how profound a life change you helped me find; plus the comfort, the pleasure, the keenly interesting perspectives you gave me. Surprisingly even goodness can be overwhelming, I think that is why I was unable to continue. It is a little embarrassing to see how for a strong woman, I have often been very timid—I wish I did not avoid complexities in myself. Perhaps that is what I valued most about the both of you, you are clear goodness. — Annmarie Throckmorton, October 22, 2016

________________________________________


When I received the call that Norma Roberts had passed I was shocked, because she was the caretaker of her frail and elderly husband Bud. I had the good fortune to know both Norma and Bud Roberts, to be helped immensely by them, and I am deeply sadden by Bud's loss of his dear wife. At his wife Norma's request Bud had given me freely a year of counseling, once or twice weekly, to help me learn how to parent my housebound and uncooperative parents who depended upon me to remain in their own home for the last six years of their life. Without his help I would not have been able to do that for them. I am grateful. After I met Norma in art class, we had many lunches together, which I particularly valued for our good conversation and the fact that no one else that we knew liked Indian food, so we had curry whenever we went out.


I had the good fortune to attend one of Norma's sermons, as a visiting reverend at a lovely church just outside of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. She preached softly from her heart, with a gentle hand on the Good Book; and intermittently she sang kindly, softly to the congregation extolling them to virtue. I have never before nor since seen such a sincere and beautiful tribute to God and Goodness. Rest In Peace.


Regarding their live-in "helper" of the last few years, I can make no complete comment as she still lives with Bud Roberts, but there is much I could have said. Suffice it to say that I would have kept in much closer touch with the Roberts if not for my own genuine fear of that strange, crazy woman who exploited her schizophrenia and their kind hearts to control and isolate the Roberts. Early on when I warned Norma that I thought their live-in helper was disruptive and maybe even dangerous, Norma said she knew that but Bud wanted woman to live with them. There was nothing she could do about it but make the best of it.


When their "helper" called and informed me that Norma was gone, she bragged to me that she was "taking every opportunity to hug and comfort Bud" in his bereavement. She reminisced happily that when she dug up Norma's backyard to put in vegetables that Norma had "taken quite a while to get used to it"; and she laughed out loud when she said that someone had tricked Bud in order to sneak in their house and steal Norma's jewelry. Huh, wonder who that could have been? Heartbreaking that Norma endured those kinds of betrayals in her last years.


Norma Roberts had invited me to visit them in Hawaii, "Whenever you like...", but the Roberts never quite got the opportunity to retire there, they only visited several times a year. I had already spent about two weeks in Hawaii decades ago, and although I did not care for it, it seemed like it would be Heaven-on-Earth for the Roberts. Norma was typically very calm but she was very excited and happy when she showed me images of the house that they had bought in Hawaii, high up on a cliff overlooking the ocean. But Norma never lived to move to Hawaii, and Bud may not be able to do it without her.


The Robert's live-in "helper" was very keen to go with them to Hawaii. She had been placed to live with them a few years ago by an agency to save her from living on the streets, and she was desperate to stay safely in their very nice home. She simply was not capable of behaving sanely and with gratitude.


On July 11, 2022 a month or so before Norma passed, I received a very brief voice mail from her mobile number, just a soft gasp really. I called back numerous times in the next few days, but no one picked up my call.


Golden Array Memorial for Reverend Norma Roberts

animation and image by Annmarie Throckmorton 2022





Bud and Norma Business Cards



Bud and Norma-Aloha From Norma Roberts to Annmarie Throckmorton 2010

(When Norma said that she had always wanted a particular kind of ring, an engagement ring

I gifted her with three of them that I had inherited from my late aunt who had very nice jewelry.

I do not know if those huge, beautiful diamond rings were "real", I assume synthetic but maybe not.

And Norma was delighted to have them and that is how I remember her, The Light.)

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