What I Say

What I Say

Ideas, thoughts, options, arguments

The First Time I Cried

Freda Love Boner 1986

Freda Love Boner 1986




Of course, I cried as an infant, a toddler, a little boy, a tween, and a teenager, but I would learn as all boys learn that men do not cry. Never! Men conceal  their emotions as if they were hiding gold walking amongst thieves.

It was a frigidly cold early April Sunday afternoon, my wife and I were driving my daughter Freda and her best friend to the airport. Freda’s mother, my ex-wife, was stranded in Istanbul, because her passport had been stolen. Against the advice of all the adults in her life, Freda decided to move to Boston where her boyfriend attended the Berkeley School of Music. Freda was 18 years old so we could no longer impose our will upon her.

We were standing around the departing gate; back then, visitors could accompany passengers and wait with them at the gate until they boarded the plane. I offered some fatherly advice about finding a job and letting us know what small household items they might need once they found an apartment.

The plane started to board, and Freda and her friend were sobbing; we all hugged each other, but I was still very composed. They disappeared down the long gangway and of eventually my wife and I left the boarding area. That’s when I lost it! I started crying like a baby. I felt so empty so alone.

I would never hold her hand as we crossed the street, go see a movie together, or prepare her favorite dishes. I felt a great burden dissent upon me, as if someone were pushing hard on my shoulder, pushing me down to the cold concrete floor as an emotional darkness engulfed me.

I have felt sorrow before, but nothing like this; mere words fail to describe the complete despair and emptiness I felt. Everything was lost. Everything was gone. It was over. Everything was over.

Of course, I was wrong; we were still father and daughter only now she was an adult daughter. I visited her a few times in Boston and she moved back to Indiana a couple of times. We shared best movies, restaurants, and recipes. She married, had two children, finished college and made a very successful life for herself.

Turned out moving to Boston was one of the best decisions she ever made. Oh, there were plenty of difficulties and personal struggles. However, she was a founding member of a band that toured all over the USA. She has been interviewed in Sassy, Spin, Rolling Stones, Village Voice and many other publications. MTV showed their music videos. Because of the band, she met the man she would marry, and they had two beautiful boys. They started their own band, toured the country, recorded for RCA, and they appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

She currently writes a monthly column for Paste magazine and her first book, a cookbook, about teaching her teenage boys to cook, is scheduled for release in late 2015. I am so proud of all her accomplishments.

I would cry again after learning of the death of friends, family and pets, but I would always cry when I remembered; the first time I cried.







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