Touched by the kindness
including the trip to Paris, a mink coat, perfume, lingerie, luggage, costume jewelry, shoes, socks, a hat, a dress, a handbag, bed linens and wool blankets.
None of those details have anything to do with Jeff, but they furthered our intrigue as to how in the World Wide Web this footage even existed, much less was discovered. My brother returned a direct message on Facebook to Jeff, asking that very question, as well as asking how they knew each other and begging forgiveness for not remembering.
“No apology necessary as we don’t know each other. I just forward videos that I watch as a tiny kindness so they can be shared with family and friends. Been doing for about 6 years now and it’s been a gift to me to be able to bring a smile or comfort to others. Take 2 minutes. Not every episode of every game show is yet on YT, but if I come across your dad on The Big Payoff, I will be sure to send that to you as well. Be well.”
Somewhere in Ventura, Calif., my brother’s jaw hit his hardwood floor. He wrote back.
“Jeff, I’m kind of speechless. I guess I’m also curious how you put together my dad’s name with mine. But I don’t want to question kindness. Your lovely action has touched our family and helps us remember a good man. I wish you a wonderful holiday season.”
Then came a more crystallizing explanation.
“Very long story short. I have lifelong insomnia so I watch a lot of old game shows on YT when I can’t sleep (I work in human services so I see the worst of this world coupled with the best of this world — strong and resilient people having to endure so much pain but overcoming so much adversity). About 6 years ago, I decided to put it to good use and it’s been worth every second to bring a smile to someone’s face, joy to their heart or comfort to their soul. I always try to send to the actual contestant first, but if they have passed away, then I forward to family members, too. He mentioned his dad’s name and where he lived, so I found you very easily. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your dad was a wonderful man, husband, dad and patriot. It is my absolute pleasure to be able to be a blessing to someone doing a teeny kindness. I hope this video can be like a comforting hug that you can wrap yourself in when you’re missing him. Thank YOU for your gracious words and kind wishes.”
My father was all these things Jeff surmised, and so much more. The video, as he suspected, was a comforting hug.
Here’s hoping everyone who reads this has a messenger angel like Jeff come into their lives. Or better yet, can be one for someone else.
Navy Seaman Ralph Harry, circa 1952, when he was about 22.