Times of sickness are also moments of connection. People come and go through life, many of them forgotten. Not so the family doctor. Our doctor’s name was Dr. Glover. When I was very sick he came to the house, but for common colds and checkups my mother and I went to his office.
His office was in a Victorian house located on the main street of town only a few blocks from the retail district. Dr. Glover lived upstairs from a first floor office. I believe there was a Mrs. Glover. I don’t know if they had children. I don’t remember we had any other doctor, only a dentist who filled the holes in my teeth with silver now deemed harmful.
Many times my mother and I climbed the front steps to Dr. Glover’s large front door that opened into a narrow hallway. Directly before us were stairs leading to an upper level. A closed-door to our right led to a small room with a half-dozen chairs and dozens of magazines on a window ledge facing the street. This was the waiting room and once inside the smell of a doctor’s office became clear.
I never had the opportunity to read the magazines before another door opened in the back of the room and Dr. Glover stood beckoning me. I recall him as a short skinny man with a mustache. He always had with him an oversize black case. It seemed to produce all he needed.
Doctor Glover’s office had high ceilings and presented a wide square room. A wooden desk stood in the middle. On it sat his black bag and a green shaded light that had a chain attached for turning off and on. The room sported large vertical windows that replaced most of the outside wall. They made the room bright and light. There must have been an overhead light too because even on rainy days the room remained bright. Pictures and certificates, now but a blur, hung on the wall.
Dr. Glover asked me questions about my health and then brought from his black bag a silver colored stethoscope. He placed the scope on my chest all the while murmuring assurances of my excellent health. No matter the illness, I always departed from Dr. Glover’s office convinced I had a future.