First, if you haven’t read the entry from June 5, “Intrigue,” do that first. This whole thing will make a lot more sense if you do. Okay, the mysterious letter arrived yesterday. And, yes, it had been opened. The letter stated that their records showed that they, Prudential Securities, had sent me a check in February, 2002 and it had never been cashed. This check was the result of Prudential becoming a stock company rather than a mutual company. (no idea) If I wanted the check reissued I should fill out the attached form or call the number they gave. Well, no way was I waiting any longer to find out about this so I called. I think I got the help desk located in India. After going through a bunch of rigamarole identifying myself, the man on the phone asked if I’d like the check reissued. Sure! But mostly I want to know what this check is and why am I getting it. So he says the check is for $426.60. Well, dashed were my hopes that I was somehow the long, lost relative of Howard Hughes but still, it’s not something I expected. Then I asked why am I getting this. Apparently someone had taken a life insurance policy out on me in 1970. Really!? Can I cash it in? Oh, yes, but you have to call a different number. So I get some details about the policy and call the new number.

By saying, “help,” enough times into the voice router, I finally got a human at the number he had given me. I say,”I’ve just found out that I have an insurance policy and I’d like to cash it in.” He says, “Okay, but you’ll have to answer enough of the questions I am going to ask you in order to do that.” I’m game. I know the name on the policy, and the original address, I know who the benficiary is because the first guy told me and also got the number of the policy from him. Then the new guy asks how much the original policy was for. Uh-oh, this I don’t know. He says you need to know this or I may not be able to release the money. Oh drat, so I guess $5000. Annnh, wrong answer. But I can still redeem myself if I know the date of the policy. Oh happy day, the first guy told me that too. So I give the February, 1970 date, and I’m a winner!!! All I have to do is fill out some paperwork that they will send me and the check will be in the mail.

Here’s the background. When my sisters and I were born my mom took out insurance policies on us. The policies matured when we were 18 and we each got about $800. Then what I think must have happened is that a friend of my mom’s who was an insurance agent kept after her about getting another policy. My older sister was well on her way to getting married, and my younger sister was still in elementary school when this was going on. I, however, had no prospects at that time for marriage, had no marketable skills (working towards a degree in Political Science), and had shown myself to be somewhat unstable. So a little insurance was maybe a good thing. So, unbeknownst to me, my mom took out a whole life policy for $1000 with premiums to be paid over a ten year period with herself as beneficiary. If I died tomorrow someone would get about $3400 but I think I’d rather have a smaller amount of money ($2100) while I can enjoy it.

So, thank you to all the people in New Jersey who went to the effort of finding me. And thank you especially, mommy, for touching me with this surprise gift. My mom died in October, 1984.

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