Daughter starts checking off things on her deceased father's bucket list
Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Thirteen years after Laura Carney's dad died, she found out about his list: Things I would like to do before I die. There were 60 items on the list, but only 5 were checked off. She got to work.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Laura Carney was 25 when she heard the news. A distracted driver in Limerick, Pa., struck and killed her father. It happened almost two decades ago.
LAURA CARNEY: It's very, very hard to move past that moment in your head. And I couldn't move past it for many years. And it made it so that it was very painful to think about my dad.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Then a discovery gave her a chance to think of him in a different way. A few years ago, her brother found a list among their dad's belongings.
INSKEEP: It was titled "Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die." And Carney instantly knew she had to finish it for him.
CARNEY: It was really a gut decision. It happened in an instant in my heart. I felt, this is something I'm supposed to be doing.
FADEL: The list had 60 items and only five checked off. Her father had been a writer, musician and salesman. And the list reflected his varied interests. Plant a watermelon. Own a wine cellar. Correspond with the pope. Laura Carney started doing these things even though it took six years.
CARNEY: I've become a person now who really likes to encourage people to try hard things.
FADEL: Last month, she checked off the last item, record five songs.
CARNEY: (Singing) Someday, we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
It was emotional for me because my dad was a singer. And I chose the songs that I most associated with him. But at the same time, it felt really fulfilling that I could have a way to celebrate that.
INSKEEP: She says finishing the list honored her dad and also helped her.
CARNEY: In that way, I've taken something and, like an alchemist, I've been able to spin it into gold.
FADEL: In the end, Carney checked something off her own bucket list, writing a book. "My Father's List" is due out in July. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.View this story on npr.org
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