Editor’s Note: Following the death last week of Panolian advertising director Bob Boggan, his daughter Brittany, on behalf of her mother and sisters, wrote the following poignant tribute, which we publish today in memory of our friend and co-worker.
Not many people can say they have a daddy like ours. Daddy, or “Bobster” as my friends and I liked to call him, was one of a kind. How many dads are the only men at cheerleading meetings after school helping pick out uniforms? How many dads follow the school bus because his new kindergartner was too frightened to go alone?
How many dads would call from Wal-Mart and put a sales associate on the phone because he could not find the “sticky boobs” you asked him to get?
My dad, Bob Boggan, was a truly remarkable gift from God. My family’s memories are filled with funny soap hair do’s in the bathtub, Saturday morning donuts, putting sponge rollers in his hair, and, of course, that light-up-a-room smile.
If only we could count the times we heard, “I wish my daddy did that,” or “my daddy would never do that!” The truth is, most daddies wouldn’t, because my dad was not like most daddies.
We have often heard my mom and his friends laugh about him saying when he was younger how he always wanted to live in a house full of beautiful women. Somehow I don’t think he was talking about a wife and three daughters, but it’s funny how we sometimes get what we wish for.
We firmly believe that some dads are meant to have little girls-for Bob Boggan, that was the case. Every Friday, he would bring home tons of movies for us to watch, always cook us a Sunday morning feast, while making sure to iron all of our clothes before church.
During the school week, he packed all of our lunches, got us all up for school, and could barely make it through a whole day without having to make a quick trip to bring forgotten pom-poms, basketball jerseys, glasses or lunches. All of the teachers knew him by name, and would ask what we had forgotten this time.
He never missed a school or sporting event, and became a dad for more little girls than just us.
Not only was Bob Boggan a wonderful father, but he was the kind of husband who makes all women jealous. He loved our mom with an unconditional, head-over-heals, ever-lasting love. He would have whatever needed to be done before mom could even think it.
Most men have hobbies like hunting, fishing, golf, or watching football with the boys. Bob Boggan’s hobby was his family. The Bible tells us not to worry about material possessions. Our dad did not leave behind many of these possessions; what he left behind is in our hearts and the example that he left for us to follow.
We always knew our dad was a hero who led us through life. Little did we know that he would be the hero who would lead us to Heaven. Our dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in May. Just four months later, God was ready to call him home. Although it was the hardest thing we have ever had to do, he made sure, once again, that his girls were taken care of.
The weeks before his death, he had trouble speaking clearly, or having the breath to carry on long conversations. However, the night before he went home to be with the Lord, he asked to sit up in the bed, and had a two-hour conversation with us that we will never forget.
With a clear voice of serenity and peace, he told us that he could not fight anymore, and that he was about to leave us. He told us not to worry because he was happy and not in any pain. He spent the hours giving us life advice, asking us to be happy and celebrate. Of course, we were begging him not to leave us because we would miss him too much.
He assured us that he would not miss a moment of our lives as he would always be watching. We had not known that earlier that day he had a similar talk with our mother to make sure it was all right for him to leave, and to make plans for after he was gone.
Our dad was always a man with a plan, and he kept his plans until the very end, even giving his blessing to a young man who asked for his youngest daughter’s hand in marriage.
When our talk was over, he looked up and spoke that he was done with “kid grace” and “will it be now or later?” We assume the answer to this question was “later” as he made it through the night, shared a few more moments with us the next day, still assuring us not to be upset because he was happy and definitely ready.
“I’m ready to take my big dance,” he told our pastor, Brother Berry. A little later he told us that it was time, and he was about to go to sleep and not wake up, told us ‘bye’ and that he loved us.
Daddy’s plan was exactly as he had told us as he went to sleep, and awoke in the presence of the Lord to participate in the “big dance.”
We feel that our daddy’s story is one to be shared with those who might be struggling with faith or have lost loved ones and have doubts and worries. We encourage you to have faith and trust in God, because he is with them as we speak, leading those steps to the miraculous “big dance.” God bless you, and we thank everyone for their support and prayers.
–The Boggan Girls