Daughter Faces Mortality as She Completes Her Late Father’s Bucket List


After finishing her dad’s bucket list, Laura Carney collapsed into her husband’s arms. She couldn’t believe she had completed it. “Talk with the president,” “correspond with the Pope” “swim the width of a river”Three of the 54 seemingly impossible jobs she set out for Mick Carney were these. 

“When I first started this project, I thought the main reason I needed to do this was (so I could bring) awareness to how my father died,”Inside Edition Digital hears from her. “I didn’t realize that I actually had something inside of me that needed to heal. There was grief that I hadn’t really dealt with.”

Laura was just 20 years old when her father was killed in 2003 by a distracted 17 year-old girl. 

Laura didn’t get to experience the most memorable father-daughter moments of her life, such as when he walked her down the aisle at her marriage. Mick Carney was able to give Laura the most amazing wedding gift she could imagine. 

In 2017, around the time she was to be married, Laura found her father’s barely legible penmanship scrawled across three pages ripped from a spiral notebook that were tucked inside a small, leather pouch nestled among a few trinkets.

Laura Carney

The 39-year old copy editor had never seen these pages before. Mick Carney had a 60-item bucket list. “Things I would like to do in my lifetime!”He had written the poem in 1978, when Laura was born. Her father was 29 when she was born.

The top of your wish list: “I would like to live a long healthy life, at least to the year 2020.”

Her dad only checked off five of the items on the list, including attending a World Series baseball game and helping his parents when they retired. He should have ticked off No. His daughter stated that he deserved to have ticked off No. 12. “Give my children the most love, the best education and best example I can give.”

With encouragement from her new husband, Laura committed to fulfilling the rest of her dad’s wishes by 2020. It’s the year he’d hoped to see as a healthy, elderly man. After the COVID-19 pandemic, she extended her deadline. 

“By the time the pandemic started, I had actually checked off 31 of the 54 items,”She said. “So I definitely was like, ‘Oh my god. This isn’t something I expected. How am I going to do this?’”

She was able check off “sing at my daughter’s wedding,”He was able to thank a 1974 Cabernet bottle for his success. “the best wine America ever made”In the 1970s, as a wine distributor. “So being a writer, the way I understood that was sort of like our stomachs were singing because we drank this wine,”She said. “So that’s how he sang at my wedding.”

Laura Carney

She moved on to the things she found most frightening, including driving a Corvette. 

“I had a panic attack,”She admits. “It ended up being about 20 minutes from that intersection where he died. I was very worried that I was going to somehow drive through it.”

Audrey II was her most memorable accomplishment. “Little Shop of Horrors.” 

Laura was blown away by the experience and realized that she needed to be more fulfilled in her life. Laura is now writing a memoir. “My Father’s List”The release date is July 11. 

“I’m just much more centered in who I am as a person and I understand myself better. A lot of these (items on the) lists, like skydiving or surfing or swimming the river or going sailing by myself, it required that I faced these fears that I had of my own mortality,”She explains. “Once I actually did them, I realized a lot of the fears I was carrying were sort of just based on misconceptions about things.”

Laura Carney

And the most ironic part about this entire journey is that while it took her all over the world –  to places like Vienna, Berlin, St. Thomas, and even the Super Bowl – it ended at home.

Laura recorded five of the songs her father used to sing to her every day in December. They were recorded at her house. 

“My dad was a singer, so it seemed really appropriate that ended up being the last one,”She spoke.

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