1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Trading Places: Ann Curry's father, Bob

By Ann Curry
NBC News
updated 2/15/2007 7:35:54 PM ET 2007-02-16T00:35:54

At 77, my dad refuses to act his age.

Bob Curry: When I'm 120, I'm going to be shot by an 18-year-old jealous husband!

He volunteers as a hospital candy striper, teaches tai chi and enjoys poetry.

Bob Curry: “On the road to Mandalay, where the old flotilla lay. And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China across the bay.” Now, that’s Kipling.

And he ballroom dances — with lots of friends, and a Zorba-like passion.

You might not guess he has a defibrillator and a pacemaker. Like so many, he suffers from America's No. 1 killer, heart disease.

A career Navy man, his first heart pains came when one of his five children died in the line of duty. His first heart attack, shortly after his wife of 53 years died. He almost gave up.

Ann Curry: You asked me once, Dad, “What do I have to live for, what do I do with myself?”

Bob Curry: The thing is, you have to realize that life is for the living. I thought I had something to offer. And maybe, maybe I wasn't ready to go yet.

With a little encouragement, he discovered he could feel useful.

Bob Curry: When I feel like I'm doing something for someone else that they value, it makes you feel so good to want to do more.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Matt Lauer in drag, Hoda as Yoda: 20 years of Halloween on TODAY

      No one does Halloween like TODAY. Relive two decades of awesome on the plaza as we rev up for 2014’s plaza bonanza.

    2. Celebs guess: Who will TODAY be for Halloween 2014?
    3. J.K. Rowling writes new Harry Potter tale for Halloween
    4. Accused Pennsylvania cop killer Eric Frein captured
    5. Nurse Kaci Hickox steps up Ebola quarantine battle

And he allowed his broken heart to fall in love again.

Bob Curry: I think people at an age, and especially if they've lost a spouse, they close up themselves. And to be ready for a certain type of relationship, you have to be very open with yourself.

Dad discovered later that widowers who remarry, according to numerous studies, live longer than those who don't.

Ann Curry: She just makes you happy.

Bob Curry: Makes me happy. And I make her happy. When she laughs, at the dance, you would think she was 16 years old.

He looks for love, most of all, but also for fun, and ways to be useful. Adding time to one treasured life, among many in America. 

Ann Curry: I think you did darn all right.

Bob Curry: I’m quite proud of you, yeah.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Get ready for today’s big reveal: Relive 20 years of Halloween on TODAY

    No one does Halloween like TODAY. Remember two decades of awesome on the plaza as we rev up for 2014’s plaza bonanza.

    10/23/2014 5:43:31 PM +00:00 2014-10-23T17:43:31
  2. video Celebs guess: Who will TODAY be for Halloween 2014?

    video Bob Harper, Russell Brand, Padma Lakshmi, William Shatner and more celebrities guess (and suggest!) what the anchors should be for the 2014 TODAY Halloween celebration on the plaza.

    10/30/2014 7:32:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T19:32:19
  3. Getty Images, AP, TODAY
  1. TODAY

    video Accused Pennsylvania cop killer Eric Frein captured

    10/31/2014 11:27:52 AM +00:00 2014-10-31T11:27:52
  1. Snag Sandra Lee’s last-minute Halloween party ideas and recipes

    Does the thought of planning a Halloween party on Halloween scares you silly? Sandra Lee is here to show you it can be done — and it can be fun!

    10/31/2014 10:49:41 AM +00:00 2014-10-31T10:49:41