The Last 68 Cents?

There was a message on the answering machine last night.  “This is Linda from Dr. Bezon’s office, calling about a credit balance on your account.  If you could call and verify your address, I can send you the balance.”  She left the phone number to call three times.  I didn’t recognize the doctor’s name.

Though wary this might be some sort of scam, I called the number this morning.  Linda answered, and when I told her I’d gotten a message from her, she asked my name.  Still wary, I gave her the phone number she’d called and asked who she was looking for.  “I don’t recognize the doctor’s name,” I told her. 

“Let me see,” she said.  “I can’t find that number, what’s your name?”

She seemed legitimate, so I gave her my last name.  “Oh, here’s the number,” she said.  “Do you have an Erica or Eric there?”

“My late husband’s name was Eric, but he died four years ago.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” Linda said.  “But this is from 2006.  Dr. Bezon is a chiropractor your husband saw.”

“Yes,” I said.  “Eric went to a chiropractor a couple of times for the back pain he was having.  We didn’t know yet the pain was from metastatic cancer in his bones.  The chiropractor didn’t help.”

“I’m so sorry,” Linda said again.  “We just got a new accounting system, and we’re finding balances we didn’t know we have.  Eric’s account has a balance of 68 cents, from a visit on March 10, 2006.”  Two months before Eric died. 

“Well, you can have the 68 cents,” I said.  “That’s fine with me.”

“Oh no,” Linda answered.  “If you could just verify the address, I’ll send you a check for the balance.”  She told me again how sorry she was, apologized for being so tardy in finding the balance, and said she would be putting a check in the mail.

At one point in the year after Eric died, I got two checks two days apart.  I’d transferred an account in Eric’s name, but the order to transfer didn’t catch the last of the interest. A check, in Eric’s name, arrived for $7.32.  Then a check for $.01 came.  The account was finally closed. 

At least this check will be in my name.

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