June 18, 2018
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90-year-old Saco woman’s bucket list creates unexpected connection

By WGME staff, Special to the BDN

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A 90-year-old Saco woman, completing her bucket list, ended up touching a stranger’s life.

Elizabeth Furlong has had her fair share of birthdays, but she said her 90th is one she won’t soon forget. And it all started Saturday morning with a birthday celebration that included a hot air balloon ride in Scarborough.

“I thought about it especially when I had seen some hot air balloons when they have those festivals,” Furlong told CBS 13’s Katie Sampson.

For five years, she’s wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride for her 90th birthday. On Saturday, her family made it happen.

“We went over some homes and everything and somebody said, “hello” and then they were waving, and people in cars when we would get near the roads would wave and honk,” Furlong said.

Furlong didn’t think the day could get any better, until it was time to touch ground.

“Prior to landing I thought that there would be the same place all the time, some big field or whatever,” Furlong said.

The pilot said they typically look for open fields that are safe to land on, but sometimes backyards are more suitable.

That’s where Kate St. Clair comes in.

“We got a knock on the door at 7:30 [a.m.] and they asked, ‘we have to land, is it okay?’ and you’re sort of like what are you going to say, no?” St. Clair said.

St. Clair gave the go ahead and gathered her family to watch.

“The kids were completely intrigued by the balloon, but we were so intrigued by her story,” she said.

“My son passed away last year, and I sort of had kind of a nightmare about him this morning,” St. Clair said.

Her son Kyle was just 8 years old. He suffered from serious breathing and digestion problems.

“This balloon lands on our front yard this morning, and I just kind of felt like you know, maybe it was a sign, you know, from him saying okay, everything’s okay,” St. Clair said.

“Knowing that makes me even feel better doing that,” Furlong said.

And now, this 90-year-old wants others to follow suit.

“Make sure you do the things that you want during your lifetime,” Furlong said. “Just to feel that at this age, I was able to do something like that.”

“Her whole attitude about life was just something that I needed this morning, and it changed my entire day,” said St. Clair.


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