An Air Hug For Dad, And A Final Farewell? The Sequel.

On March 16 — just 4 days after COVID closed Westport schools, as the reality of the pandemic swept across America — I posted an astonishing story.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton had written a heart-wrenching story about the coronavirus’ effect on her life. She had just moved her 93-year-old father into a memory care unit. He was also in the late stages of Parkinson’s. Now she could not even visit him.

Her father was Bob Bohen. He raised her as a single parent in Westport, in the late 1970s and ’80s. He worked 2 jobs, but was always there when she got home after school. She graduated from Staples High in 1982.

“He let me have huge sleepovers and was beloved among my friends,” Leonora wrote. “He took me out to eat. Every night.”

Click here to read her moving account of what she feared might be the last time she ever saw him.

Leonora LaPeter Anton and her dad, Bob Bohen.

More than half a year has passed. Once again Leonora — who shared a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, as part of a Tampa Bay Times/Sarasota Herald-Tribune team exploring violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals — has written about her dad.

Father and daughter were separated for months. In July, he got COVID. His battle with the disease forms the basis of her most recent story.

I won’t tell you what happened. You need to read it yourself; just click here.

It’s an astonishing story, told beautifully and with love by a talented Staples High School grad.

It’s also just one of millions such tales, in our America today.

(Hat tip: Suzanne Braley)

12 responses to “An Air Hug For Dad, And A Final Farewell? The Sequel.

  1. Thanks Dan I remember Bob And her story is compelling B

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Shari Goldstein

    Another reminder of how lucky I was to sit with my elderly parents outside to break fast last night. This beautifully written story has me in tears.

  3. Beautiful story. Crying at 7 am!

  4. Thank you for sharing this moving story. My heart breaks for the 205,000+ families who have faced this. Masks on, everyone!

  5. Thank you for sharing Dan. What a beautiful tribute and reminder to each of us to seize each and every day.

  6. Beautifully written. Still crying…

  7. That was beautiful.

  8. Kathleen Brannigan Fazio

    This was a tough read- my heart hurts. The love between Leonora and her dad was beautiful.

  9. As always Dan , a moving and timely story. So well written. These are the days of so much grief and sorrow yet these moments give us pause to appreciate what we have to be grateful for.

  10. Arline Gertzoff

    My heart aches for those who have lost their loved ones I would however love to see a story of survival. I have lost 8 people since March not all to Covid but none the less dear friends of mine and my family.Leonara’s story was beautifully written and thanks for sharing

  11. Beautifully written… my heart breaks for Leonara and all the other 200K (plus) people who have lost family members without being able to say goodbye.

  12. Beautiful story so well written. I appreciate being able to share in this experience. Much like what we are going through with my folks.