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When I was 25 years old, my father was killed by a driver who ran a red light while talking on her cell phone. His life was cut short before he was able to do all he'd set out to do (including watch his children start their careers and get married).

In November 2016, my brother discovered a list our dad wrote when he was 29. The title of the list: "Things I Would Like to Do in My Lifetime!" The first item: "I would like to live a long, healthy life at least to the year 2020." Because he was killed in 2003, this goal was rendered impossible.

But I believe that when you write down a goal, one way or another, it will be accomplished. As my brother and I read my father's list, we realized we'd already done a lot of it. And then I knew what I had to do.

I had to finish the list.

By the year 2020, I will do everything in my power to make my dad's dreams a reality. And this is where I will document it.

There are 60 items on this list. My dad checked off five and marked one as having failed at. I plan to check off the remaining 54—and that includes the ones we've already done.

It could be a bumpy ride. But I hope you'll join me on the journey.

Laura Carney is a magazine copy editor, writer and illustrator who lives in Montclair, NJ. She's copyedited for Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Woman's Day, among other places, and proofreads for St. Martin's Press on a freelance basis. Laura has written for the Washington Post, The Hill, Good Housekeeping, Runner's World, the Associated Press, OK! magazine, McSweeney’s, Monkeybicycle, Vagabondage Press, various trade magazines, Basket of Kisses and Fashion and Grammar Gripes.

She works to raise awareness as an advocate with
the National Safety Council, End Distracted Driving, the Safe Roads Alliance, Families for Safe Streets NJ, Act to End Deadly Distractions, NCSR Road Safety Advocacy and the Road to Zero Coalition and as a marathon runner. E-mail her at carney.laura{at}gmail.com.

 

All content on this site was written by Laura Carney as she has been attempting to finish her latest project,  My Father's List.