Dr. Fabers Makes a House Call
Dad was lying on the couch when I came home from Junior High.
“I’ve called Dr. Fabers,” Mother said, matter-of-factly.
This was bad news, as Dad never missed work and here he was in the middle of the day and worse yet, waiting for a visit from Dr. Fabers, who was the best healer in town, but he took the prize for being the rudest, scariest, loudest medicine man anyone ever knew.
Many a kid faced with coughs and fever chose hopping out of bed, proving a sudden well being, when they heard their parents asking Dr. Fabers to visit them. So when Dr. Fabers walked into our house without knocking and demanded in a thunderous voice, “Just what is wrong in this house?” I skipped behind the kitchen door, feeling guilty because he hadn’t been summoned to examine me.
Dr. Fabers growling advice to my mother about Dad’s care almost rattled the windows out of their panes, but he guaranteed Dad would be up and full of ginger in two days.
The good news faded suddenly as Mother discovered me hiding behind the door and dragged me into the living room, just as the doctor was heading out the door.
“Doctor, while you’re here would you take a look at her?”
He took his hand off the doorknob and turned back toward us, glowering and menacing. I smiled wanly as I literally shook from top to bottom. I felt tiptop. I wasn’t sick and I didn’t want Dr. Fabers to get any closer. I had no idea what my Mother wanted from the doctor.
“I’ve been noticing lately,” Mother stuttered, “when I see the kids coming home from school that she is the shortest one of them all. She doesn’t,” Mother paused, her face flushing in embarrassment, “seem to be growing like the rest of the children.”
Struck by this terrible news I saw a future of red pills, cod liver oil, maybe a tonsillectomy or worse yet some sort of bout on a stretching machine all because I had failed to “keep up” with the other children.
Dr. Fabers studied me a for a moment, went into the kitchen and came back with Mother’s largest pot and roared, “Fill this up with five dollars worth of candy bars and have her take one every day after school. And missus stop looking out the window at the kids coming home from school.”
Dr. Fabers was never known to smile, but by golly I believe he winked at me as he stomped out the door that day.
Mary Elizabeth Mruzik