Dad's 54 Dreams
Guideposts|June/July 2023
My father never completed his bucket list. Now I wanted to do it for him
LAURA CARNEY
Dad's 54 Dreams

My brother told me there was something I needed to see. I had no idea on that day six years ago that my whole life was about to change. Dave handed me three creased pages scrawled with familiar handwriting—our dad’s— titled “Things I would like to do in my lifetime!” Dad had died in a car crash 13 years earlier. Dave said he’d found the list in a small pouch when he was moving into his new house.

There wasn’t a date on the list, but my mother later told me my dad wrote it in 1978. The year I was born. Dad was just 29 then. My eyes flew down the list of 60 items. Dad had checked off a few— “be interviewed on the radio,” “do a comedy monologue in a night club,” “own a great record collection,” “help my parents enjoy their retirement” and “see a World Series game live”— but there were 54 more items to go. My father’s unmet dreams.

My husband, Steven, looked at the list and said what I was thinking: “You have to finish this.” I wanted to embark on this grand adventure, but I had no idea how I’d accomplish the dozens of unchecked items. It was the opposite of what I’d expected to focus on at this stage: buying a house, having kids, growing my career in magazine publishing.

This story is from the June/July 2023 edition of Guideposts.

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This story is from the June/July 2023 edition of Guideposts.

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