Do you believe in the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you will have them do to you? What goes around comes around? The holiday season has passed and it seems like we have returned to our simple waysand have left the mood for giving to others. Every year around this time our practice looks at our account receivables and we pick two families that we forgive their debt to the practice. The family that we picked last year started a chain of events that if I had read it in a book, I would never had believed it, or said it was fiction.
When we forgive the account of the family, we write them a letter explaining what we are doing and the reason why… the reason is JUST BECAUSE! You haven’t done anything to deserve it. It is just grace. But in that letter, we state that there is just one thing that we ask...Please pay it forward.
The lady (we will call her Jane, just to protect the beautiful!) that we decided to bless had a rough year. She had gone through a bitter divorce, lost her father, was trying to go back to school. On top of that she had a tooth that needed a root canal and crown and after the treatment found out that she was out of dental insurance benefits. She was trying to pay the bill slowly but surely. Besides all that she was always the brightest star when she came into the office. Jane is beautiful inside and out. So we sent her this letter of grace.
Two weeks after we sent the letter, Jane and her kids came in for a dental appointment. She was lovely as ever, but she never said anything about the letter. It is totally not like her to not say thank you. At the end of the appointment, she came to the front desk and proceeded to write a check and began to explain how she was so sorry for not keeping up with her payments. It was then that our office manager said to her, “You do not have a bill.”
She looked at us like we were crazy and said,” I know I owe you over a thousand dollars, it got to be there somewhere.”
If was then that I said,” Did you not get the letter?” It was then that she realized that we were serious and she started to cry. “My mother has been ill and I have been so busy with her that I haven’t opened my mail in three weeks!”
It was then that I said,” Don’t worry, the bill is gone. But the only thing that I ask is that you pay it forward!”
She could not believe it! She said,” Yes! In fact I will right now, I have friend who needs some assistance with the burial expenses of a loved one.”
So you would think the story end there, and everyone is happy and that’s all great and dandy. Well, hold on to your ipad because this is where the story gets really interesting.
Two weeks pass and Jane No Shows for a dental appointment. I am thinking,” Here we go and forgive her all this money and she has the nerve to blow us off!”
We call her cell and no answer. She never calls back until another couple of weeks pass and she is apologizing back and forth and explains what happened.
“I am so sorry”, she starts,” the day before my appointment, I got a call from the personal care home that my mother was in, and they said that they did not think that she would live for another 24 hours.”
“My mother lives is Seattle, so I hopped on a plane and tried to reach her in time. Unfortunately, my mother died while I was on my way there. It has been a crazy few weeks since then.”
(This is where I start to feel bad!)
But Jane said this,” But while I was there I remembered what you said about “pay it forward.””
I was at a restaurant getting something to eat with a friend and we started a conversation with our waitress. We found out that she was working two jobs to make ends meet. Plus, she stated that her car had broken down. Now that my mother had just died, I was in charge of her estate and she had a 2010 Subaru parked in her driveway. I would have to sell it anyway. So I told her that I had a car for sale. It hadn’t been driven in a year, but it was in good condition. The waitress said that her boyfriend was a mechanic and she that she would take a look at it. We exchanged numbers and I told her to call me in a couple of days.
Two days later the waitress calls, and I swear your voice popped into my head again, “Pay it forward, and Pay it forward.” When she arrived, she asked how much I wanted for the perfect car. I said,” Ten dollars.”
She looked at me in disbelief. She cried and thanked me and could not believe that she has just been given a car!
When I came back to Connecticut after settling my mother’s estate, I had to transfer the title papers to the waitress/young lady and I looked at the name and address that she had given me. Her name stuck out and I knew that I had seen that name before. Then it came to me. I rushed to my mother’s documents from the nursing home. Remember how the waitress had said that she was working two jobs? This lady that I had given my mother’s car was working as a certified nursing assistant and was with my mother when she died!”
Do you believe in touching someone’s life? You never know whose life you are going to touch, and who’s life they will touch and so on and so on…..
Always Give and always Love!
Smiles create Happiness
Contemporary General Dentistry
836 Farmington Avenue, Suite 215
West Hartford, CT 06119
By Contemporary General Dentistry
March 15, 2013