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The Boy Teacher and the Man Student 21 (In The Face of Hardship)

Updated on April 19, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Eric started working with children when he was still one himself. He taught first aid through Scouting. All the way to preaching to youth.

Just a Straight Up the Mt. Hardship to Overcome

Not for the faint of heart, literally and figuratively.
Not for the faint of heart, literally and figuratively. | Source

You Cannot Always Protect But You Can Walk and Talk With Them

There are books for children that I have seen that deal with the child when they face hardships. It requires some “intro and outro spection”. (yes those are my terms) At first blush we just take our normal totally vague view of hardship and the notion of facing up to something. In other words there is a challenge with possible or real negative consequences that we must look in the eye and deal with the best we can. But hardship can be an inside job. And more importantly as we age we deal with hardships and we are still here, so our confidence level grows and we can see beyond the horizon. But think of a 4 foot child trying to see beyond a 5 foot wall.

These are some close encounters with something that must be dealt with and overcome.

At four years old.

B: Is it going to hurt dad?

D: I would like to tell you that it will not hurt much but I want you to trust me so I will tell you that it will hurt a lot.

B: Can you do it for me dad?

D: I wish I could son but it is you they must operate on. Your thumb is a trigger finger and we have to fix it now before you grow more.

B: It does not bother me so can’t we just leave it alone like what you say when I have a mosquito bite?

D: No we can’t.

B: Can’t we just ask Jesus to heal it?

D: We ask Jesus to help you and the doctors make it well. We ask for strength and guidance and that his will be done.

B: How come God’s will doesn’t just make it so it won’t hurt?

D: You my little buddy will be surprised at how well you handle the pain with faith.

B: I am scared.

D: Me too.

B: I am never scared at home, except the dark.

D: Hey did you know you cannot be brave without being scared? Really. Bravery is beating fear.

B: I don’t want to be brave. I just want to go home, with mommy.

D: But mommy and grandma Tam are right over there.

B: Will you come in and help the doctors.

D: No I will not help them but I made a deal and I get to go in and be with you and watch. Most dads don’t get to do that. But I said I would write up a good letter on how great they are so they let me in.

B: Will kids laugh at me in school with at big cast on my hand? I don’t like being laughed at. It makes me more shy.

D: Oh for sure they will laugh. Little kids are like that. But you can either get upset and more shy or laugh with them and show them a good way to act. Remember sometimes crying is our choice.

B: Good night daddy, it is time for bed.

D: Good night little buddy I will be here when you wake up.

I Like It And It Fits For Any Father

Learning To Stop and Listen

To walk together we must talk together
To walk together we must talk together | Source


That one went well with minimum pain and children acting right at pre-kindergarten. The boy healed like nobody’s business and the surgery corrected to this day the problem with the thumb. A growing experience for the boy but a chunk out of my heart that still bleeds in reflection. That damned reminder that we cannot protect them from every pain.

But I am grateful that I was reminded and taught again that fear and pain are OK. And not really the boogey man they are made out to be.


My elder son had a tumor in his thigh bone. Although benign it had to be removed. Successful surgery but 6 months in a lower body cast. This was pre-surgery on a 450 mile father and son road trip back home for surgery.

B: Dad I don’t want you to worry about the operation. I am sure the doctors will do a good job. Mom says they are the best in the nation and maybe the world.

D: But it is my job to worry. And yes Children’s Hospital is one of the best in the world.

B: You told me that worrying is a waste of time. And don’t give me that “do as I say, not as I do” line.

D: Well aren’t you worried?

B: No, because you told me not to.

D: Your biggest challenge will be being in that cast. And like worrying being mad about it will not help. Rather you should be happy that you are alive and getting well. And, and and and.

B: Easy for you to say. You will not be in it. And you will be gone most of the time.

D: That stinks. I wish I could do it for you. But here is the deal. If you act all angry and take it out on those who you are around they will grow to not like you anymore. If you stay all happy they will grow to love and respect you more.

B: I will try. Mom said that I can bring joy to others by letting them help me. I did not get it at first but now I do. Because I checked it out and I am happy when I help others. Even better than giving them a present.

D: Cool, that is a lesson that most people do not get until they are older.

Another Author's Word; Crossfriends


If I lean on this guy he always lifts me up. Thanks son.
If I lean on this guy he always lifts me up. Thanks son. | Source

What Goes Around Comes Around

The surgery and life thereafter went well. He did as we discussed and made me understand that at a young age he was a better man than I. To this day more than 20 years later friends still call him “cookie”. His mom determined that she would send cookies with him to school to hand out a couple days a week from his wheel chair. Smart gal his mom is.

Cancer struck our family once again.

B: Dad you know that you will be OK, right?

D: It is all scary but I have faith that it will be OK.

B: I hope you have a fun ride in the ambulance. Mom says we can see you at the hospital.

D: This is just a first round of chemo and not that unusual.

B: Well remember what you told me – don’t get angry.

D: I will try. You are kind of hurting my hand. You can let go now.

B: Is that a double entendre? I don’t think you meant it. And no I will not “let go”.

Obviously all went well in the end as I am writing this. Do not ask me how a 6th grader knew the words double entendre. But with the comment about being angry he reminded me that words we use can have a lasting effect on a life that can be passed on as needed. Or maybe just recycled. And perhaps more importantly it taught me that no matter how we do it love is a two way street. Maybe we do not see it at first or ever. But love for sure has a lasting effect.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dianna, I am truly blessed. I just finished a backcountry hike with my eldest son. We had great fun together. But I have been absent in my HP. It is truly a biblical notion of comforting yet exhorting all.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 12 days ago

      You had me crying with your stories. They hit home for me and I am sure others will also appreciate the lessons of life. God bless you for being so positive and knowing how to comfort a child. It all pays off. I believe that is a Biblical truth: cast your seeds upon the water...!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika. Something of interest: I thought of this while reading you latest on committed relationships. Obviously not some parts but others remind be that we need to commit to our children.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An understanding with kids allows for such learning points. It is amazing how fast they grow and try to teach us too. Thank you for this interesting and thoughtful hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nikki we hit a hard one yesterday. My 8 year old wants to go play with his cousins this coming Saturday. What and not hang out with me?!

      First school now a second empty nest issue ;-)

      Thank you for coming by and leaving a nice note.

      God loves me so I get to pass it on.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 4 weeks ago from London

      Loved this article Eric, sorry I missed this one!

      You and your kids have very strong bond between all of you and this is the main part to succeed and face hardships with laugh.Admiration of course goes to you who has brought up your children so well with lots of love and affection.Somewhere it comes back to you with good reward.

      Loved the picture of your son, bless him and bless a great dad like you!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I certainly agree Liz. Thank you for your comment.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 4 weeks ago from UK

      It's always worthwhile to try to see things through the eyes of others.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora. I feel like God gives me the blessing so I should pass it on. My children are heroes in my eyes.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      I'm always impressed with these conversations. The openness on everyone's part and the assurance you always dish out is so heartwarming!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Bill. I wrote a piece a while back about children being best friends to parents. Most folks oppose the idea. I tole my young son that if he did something I would get really mad. As he backed off from doing it he looked at me and said "Dad you never get really mad at me". So we share and grow instead.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Eric. I just stopped by for my weekly fix of D & B or something like that. Your kids sure have a special dad, and for sure Dad has some special kids!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Liz. That is something we have a lot of around here -perspectives.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah there are so many types of pain that it is more like infinity. But as my Guru is fond of saying "suffering" is optional. Pain motivates us in grand ways. It has always been my thought that pain motivates more than pleasure, just ask the alcoholic who suffers yet is cast into the pit of hell due to the familiarity of that pain. Yes we run both to and from pain. Pleasure generally only to.

      Funny how we use the word "pain" much as we use the word Love. In, out, state of, forever, getting over it. And my favorite "you pain me son".

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 4 weeks ago from UK

      This is really thought-provoking, looking at pain from different perspectives.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 4 weeks ago from Washington DC

      You know, Eric, "What Goes Around Comes Around" is the standard for everything in life as "karma" and "reaping what one sows" both are saying. it was my seeing what I had done come back to me that cause my "new conception" in 1973 and the beginning to actually finding the answers to what is my purpose in life and what is the purpose for existence.

      Mine was not like yours just a causal transference of words, mine was a "burning hate for what was happening to me" until I saw it was what I had done to my wife which is what caused me to seek the understanding o life.

      As always, an inspiring read.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim that is really a cool comment. (hey, long time no see, I hope all is going well up the road in Escondido) I see people doing just fine without the Father to lean on. I am just one who thinks just fine is not enough.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, I am learning with my son about this and it fits right in with your's and my love for words and language. I really get excited about it and I think that "rubs off".

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 weeks ago from Escondido, CA

      Great article. This lesson about ailment/pain and faith is humbling for me. Looking at it from the eyes of a child challenges me while realizing when I have ailment/pain I am but a child leaning on The Father.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Yes, you're right, Eric. I taught my dyslexic students with an excellent phonic system and it's easy and logical once you learn the basic rules - of course, there are always exceptions! You get long vowel sounds like 'ai' says A, or 'igh' says I etc. and short vowels are generally on their own. That's a potted version!


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian that is so interesting that you mention that about tales. My children always got the gory version.And it does help get the message across. Shoot by around 10 I get into the Old Testament -- talk about scary.

      But here is the weird thing. With standard approved games for devices they get the ugly of death and dismemberment in sometimes graphic detail. No those are not Dierker approved so they don't happen here. But my son does get teased because he doesn't know some games. It is a wild world out there :-)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann they do this mix kind of. They must excel at sight words. But the rules are made up of sounds. Open Ended - die. closed- did. I learned something more like if the first vowel is followed by a second the first vowel is long. All those "i before e unless...." are not really there anymore.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Inspiring, Eric. I'll probably hear you each time I dread anticipated pain.

      I've had experiences of doing something in spite of fear by pretending to be fearless, just as I would pretend to be this or that when a child at play.

      I've read that some psychologists think that the purpose of such folk tales as "Hansel and Gretel" and "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby" is to teach young children at a preconscious level that they can cope with dangerous, threatening situations by being brave and using their wits.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      I can identify with the maths thing - they do strange things here too. Not sure what you mean about the phonics though? Good to learn together isn't it? I'm doing that with my grandchildren now.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I would love to do that friend. I will get to it soon.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Ann. I was just at an open house for my 2nd grader last night. Holy cow I have a lot to learn, and surprisingly not to RElearn. Math with grouping and ungrouping are new terms for carry over and borrow.

      But they just lump some phonic pronunciations into open and closed syllables which is strange to me.

      So we learn together.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 weeks ago from london

      Bro it's so nice when we can see it that way... the healthy way. May not take away the pain but is a victory for the Spirit.

      If you have What's App and are happy, I can send you some of my workshop classes. Tel +254 772837565

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      And those words have a lasting effect too, Eric! Great conversations and great parenting.

      Yes, you have to do as you say! I'm glad the story continues for all of you. Your words are just about the wisest on HP.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you are so alive and thriving. You lift up just by your presence among us. Carry on soldier.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      This was the first week of our farmers market, meaning I have to cram five days of writing into four from now until the end of September, so if I'm late, or I don't comment, it is not because of a lack of interest. I'm still here, just scrambling.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita we flourish. Thanks for the encouragement to continue meditation, prayer and silence.

      Here is a strange one. My first Lymphoma was legally established to be caused by Atomic bombs being set off in a place called White Sands. The radiation drift hit kids my age at the time and serviced as cancer about 30 years later for hundreds of us. Yes I am all cured.

      Now it is an unrelated cancer that is being managed.

      There must be a reason. Perhaps like Paul's 2 Cor. 12. As it does keep you humble.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda thank you so much for sharing that so we get to know you better and let other people know they are not alone in this kind of trouble in life.

      For me this work was overdue. It is so helpful to revisit in a positive "made it" perspective.

      The love is the healer. But what else can us Christians expect as Love is God and God is Love. I John 4 I think.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 weeks ago from london

      The knack is there and you show it well in your dealings with children. Didn't you beat that big C thing? How are your other kids?

      I love trails and have done a couple of mountains in my time. This looks like a tough trail. Lean on me is totally awesome. Keep the prayer-meditation thing going and stay well. _ Lantern

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh Eric, I have two beautiful children, and have ridden this path of pain. The journey and conversations that you shared with us dove deep into my heart and my memories. At 8 weeks of age we learned that our first-born had a serious kidney deformity that, if left uncorrected, would ultimately result in kidney failure. And then there was the heart defects (which we still deal with), and then the scoliosis. All of these part of an undiagnosed syndrome which leaves her our perfectly sweet girl who will forever be 10 years of age.

      Our second-born has always excelled in everything that she pursued--grade school, high school, college. Always top of the class, Dean's list, etc. But there is a sorrow, a darkness that creeps into her being that medications can numb but not totally erase.

      Those wounds on my children pain me more than anything else God could ever see inflicted upon me.

      And how do we survive this? We do it with love.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Frank for dropping in. My/ our editor is having some issue with this series. The last thing I am trying is more monologue by me. Maybe that works a little better than trying to get people to jump around like a youngster does. We will see.

      My sons bring parts of me alive that I did not even know I had. And it lasts and lasts.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 weeks ago from Shelton

      My goodness Eric.. this had me welling in the eyes too, so glad the tumor wasn't.. dear I say the C word.. I enjoy this series and sometimes one gets me more than the other..

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Larry, writing this one did bring back some heavy duty emotions for me. On first draft I found myself self aggrandizing. My memory does that some times. Too much of my perspective. Thanks for being such a good friend.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 4 weeks ago from Raleigh

      You really do have a way with words, Eric. That journey brought tears to my eyes. It was so emotional and moving. You laid out the journey of hardships just like it was. Great writing, Eric, and thanks for sharing.


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