You’ll Be Glad
After It Stops Hurting
By Karlene Bayok Edwards
Photos courtesy of Karlene Bayok Edwards
When I was about five, I tripped and fell down eight rough cement porch steps. I started crying, and my father knelt down and put his arms around me. He said, “Don’t cry, kid. When it stops hurting, you’ll feel so good you’ll be glad you did it.” I thought that was the stupidest thing I ever heard, but I did stop crying.
Whenever Dad would examine other small injuries of mine or my siblings he’d tease us, “Why, it isn’t even bleeding.” He didn’t hold much with sympathy. If we wanted a Band-Aid, we went to Mother.
Although he didn’t like us to make a fuss about things, Dad did watch out for us. When my brother Ron was eight, Dad took him into the Idaho backcountry on one of his Forest Service trail crew jobs. This was in early summer when Big Creek becomes a dangerous, snowmelt-swollen river. Ron had received Dad’s permission to get a drink from Big Creek, as long as he was careful. Unnoticed by Ron, Dad followed behind and when the unstable rock on which Ron was leaning dumped him into the edge of the river, Dad was there to grab the back of his shirt and pull him out sputtering and scared, just a few feet from the rushing white water. Ron remembers that Dad didn’t holler at him. Instead he grinned and asked, “Was it cold?”