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Father/Daughter Stories, Mercurochrome-Healing With Love

Updated on July 19, 2012
My father and me
My father and me

Scratch a knee, bum an elbow, cut a finger, that was common as a child. I was pretty much a tomboy. I would climb trees and explore the outdoors without a care of being a girl. Did not matter if I was in a dress or pants, I would attack the world with vigor. But all those bumps and scrapes did hurt, and the only person I would let doctor me, was my Father. Even though my Mom was a nurse by trade, it was my Father who made his little girl feel better. Come see how my father doctors the emotions, of yet another adventure in the collection of Father/Daughter Stories.

This is not to discount my Mother. She indeed did nurse me when I had fevers and flues and the never ending strep throats, soothing me with cold rags and lots of Tang for those healing doses of vitamin C. However, if I was in pain and there was blood involved, like in scraped knees or cuts on the hands, it was Dr Ora Wilder, a shoe salesman by trade, who would work his magic with a little bottle of mercurochrome.

Just like solarcain on sunburns and peroxide on open wounds, mercurochrome also stings on the open skin. I would always cry and holler when my sores had to be treated. Throw all kinds of fits and be a stubborn patient when it came to pain. I was “sensitive”. But the green iridescent merbromin compound, which turns red when added to water, was our cure all of germs in our house.

So if my scrapes or cuts happened in the middle of the day, I would wait for my Father to come home from work. He would sit me on the side of the tub in the bathroom and ask me what was the problem. I know he could see the bum knee or skinned elbow, but I would point it out anyway with a pouty face.

“Oh, I see”, would be his usual reply with a put on worried look on his face. “Well I suppose Dr Wilder will need his special medicine to treat this delicate wound.” Opening the mirrored medicine cabinet, he would reach for the bottle of mercurochrome.

“Daddy! Do we have to use that! It stings!” I would whine.

“Well, baby, we have to clean all the germs so you heal properly, besides you know it won’t hurt with my magic.” I would smile my nervous smile as he began to unscrew the cap.

Pulling out the glass wand applicator, my Father would start by drawing a circle around the wound. Knowing I was “sensitive”, he would ask, “does that hurt?”

“No, it tickles”, the light cold touch of the glass wand against my skin made me giggle. “Daddy, will you draw a picture?” The mercurochrome would stain the skin an orange red and my Dad was great using the wand as a pen or paint brush.

“First, my little patient, we need to clean the wound.” He would continue with the circle then spiral inward. I would suck in my breath and wince as he went over the wound, maybe even let a tear to two roll from my eyes, but I would smile the whole time watching my Dad play doctor.

When the worst was over, my Father would then draw a tree or a flower, maybe even a butterfly, bring out of me some laughter. Last he would sign the artwork with his part time professional name, “Dr. Wilder”. Again, I giggled and laughed and the pain seemed to disappear, thanks to my Dad’s magical touch.

It was my Father’s approach that was the magic. He would use humor and laughter to distract me from the pain, along with the bottle of mercurochrome as his inkwell and the applicator wand as his paint brush. When I look around today and see all the depressed people in the world I often wonder if my Father’s magic could help their wounds.

There is no doubt in my mind, that humor and laughter helps any situation when dealing with any sort of pain, physical or mental. We all hurt and sometimes we hide it, sometimes we don’t. If we all could share some of that humor and laughter with our family and co workers, even strangers, maybe we could heal our nations of people.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to unscrew a cap from a bottle of mercurochrome and paint orangish red trees, flowers and butterflies all over the world and feel the magic of healing? Yeah, again my father strikes up in me another good spin in the Father/Daughter Stories. Thanks Dad!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      He had good taste in cars.

    • backporchstories profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      My father loved that car!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh those good old days. Thanks for the memories. Great 1966 Ford in the backround of the pic.

    • meow48 profile image


      6 years ago from usa

      what a great story. thankyou for sharing it here. take care.

    • backporchstories profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Thanks Marlene and Voyager. There are some childhood memories that will stay with me forever!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      What a beautiful story. I certainly do remember that bottle of mercurochrome. My husband STILL uses it when he gets cuts. He works outside a lot in the garden and you should see him after he put that "red medicine" all over his body (on every cut). Even though now there is a clear version, he still likes to use the red. Maybe he's remembering those good old days, too.

    • Voyager28 profile image


      6 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      My parents used to have a bottle of Mercurochrome that was quite ancient but it was dragged out for every cut and wound. Whichever parent was involved in addressing the wound would shake the bottle, tip it 180 degrees to wet the cork, then return the bottle to the upright position, take the cork out of the bottle, and apply the Mercurochrome carefully to the affected area. If I concentrate and cast my mind back, I can still smell its unique aroma.

      Thanks for the short trip down memory lane


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