“Dr. Sir and the Icy Cream”
One night Momma kept feeling Midge’s forehead as she paced the floor.
Midge knew that she didn’t feel very well but Momma seemed more
worried than usual. She overheard the doctor talking about surgery
but then Midge heard doctors talking about surgery all the time
she didn’t know that they were talking about her.
Finally, Midge began to feel better and Momma explained to her that
as soon as she got her strength back that the doctor wanted to
remove something in her throat, called tonsils, because
tonsils made Midge sick all the time.
After a few weeks, Dr. Sir thought Midge was healthy enough
withstand surgery and he scheduled it for the next week.
Midge didn’t understand why she suddenly seemed to be getting
so much attention. She got to go back to the farm and play with
her young uncles and cousins and Grandma Rosa made a
for her and it wasn’t even her birthday!
That night Momma knelt beside Midge at the side of her bed and
held her tight as she prayed. It seemed to Midge like an extra long
prayer that night, but Midge didn’t mind because she liked to pray
with Momma. Then Momma tucked her in and kissed her goodnight
Sassafras the cat sat protectively at the foot of her bed.
When Midge left to go back to the hospital with Momma, Grandma
and Grandpa hugged her longer and tighter than usual. Everyone
seemed upset about something and Grandpa kept getting out his big
handkerchief and saying he had something in his eye.
The next morning Momma began braiding Midge’s hair as usual. Her auburn
hair was so long and thick that her mother usually kept it braided with
the ends pulled up into loops and tied with a bow. This time before she
started braiding, Momma cut off a tiny lock of Midge’s hair and tied it
with a blue ribbon. Momma put it in her memory box where she kept
special things and Midge felt very loved and important to have her
hair in Momma’s special memory box. Momma finished braiding
her hair and then she put shiny new ribbons in her hair and helped
into her Sunday dress.
Midge thought they were going to church but instead Momma
took her into a little store where a man had her sit on a chair and
then he proceeded to put his head under a black cloth. Momma
explained that he would take a picture of her likeness. Midge didn’t
know what that meant and she was a little frightened but Momma
nodded toward her and sat close by so she thought it must be all right.
The man told her to look at the pretty red bird that was above the
black cloth. She did as she was told when all at once there was a
flash and a loud popping sound. Midge leaped up and ran to Momma but
Momma only laughed and said the noise was made
something called a camera.
The day of her surgery arrived and Midge got to go behind the big white double doors for the first time. Dr. Sir told her that she would sleep for a while and he would remove the tonsils that had been making her so sick and then he promised
her that when he saw her the next time he would bring her ice cream!
Cream”, Midge groggily tried to repeat after him.
Midge had never had ice cream but she thought it must be really
good if Dr. Sir was so excited about it.
The next thing Midge knew she was very drowsy and she wished they
would let her sleep because her throat hurt so badly but people kept
waking her. Every single time she opened her eyes Momma was right
there and Midge thought everything would be fine as long as
Later, Midge was sitting up in bed when all at once Dr. Sir came bursting
through her hospital room door with a bowl of vanilla ice cream, just
like he promised! Dr. Sir himself scooped a small spoonful into Midge’s
mouth, and stood waiting for her reaction. He was not disappointed
when Midge’s eyes lit up in delight at the wonderful frozen delicacy.
Midge never did get the name quite right but Dr. Sir became
known in the area for his “Icy Cream” cure.
Years later, when Midge was older, she understood that the surgery
had been a very scary time for her family. In those days, even minor
surgery was something that many people did not survive. Her family had
experienced losing Midge’s mother at the young age of nineteen, as
well as other family members, and they had been so afraid of losing
Midge too. That was the reason why Momma had kept a lock of her
hair, why she had her picture made, and why she was held so tight
when Momma knelt with her to pray at bedtime. They knew the
of love and that life was God’s precious gift.
picture taken before her surgery)