All it took was one small act of selling a VCR on eBay to change the lives of two men living miles and generations apart. ABC7 shares their story.
It started in 2018 when Matt Shoukry of St. Louis was told that he was suffering from cancer. Learning that you have cancer is painful enough but getting back to work was just as painful and nearly impossible. However, he still needed to pay his bills.
Suddenly he had a lot of free time, most of which he spent recovering on his couch. In order to make a little cash to pay off his bills, he decided to sell some of his stuff on eBay. Considering it wasn't a task that would require much effort, Matt wasted no time in beginning the process. "While sick, I was stuck on the couch a lot and I started selling on eBay to help make ends meet as it was something I could do from home without too much bodily stress," said Shoukry.
Of those items that were being put up for sale, one of them was a VCR. In this day and age, VCRs have become near obsolete what with all the new technology that's come up so finding it in a store would take a herculean effort. “There is a need for VCRs out there because it's something you can’t go to Best Buy or Walmart and get,” Shoukry said.
Which is why he sold it to an elderly man for $40 and didn't really give it much thought after that. Shoukry told WGN9 that he usually sold the item, checked the rating and review from the buyer and moved on. "Most eBay transactions are a blur for me as most commerce is nowadays. They pay. They get their item. Everybody's happy and goes on their way," said Shoukry.
Yet, this transaction caught his eye after his girlfriend had brought in the mail and saw that the VCR buyer had sent him a letter. What he didn't expect was that the letter was about to warm his heart. "My girlfriend had brought the mail in, which is usually all ads and junk, but I noticed a letter for me with a handwritten address on the front," Shoukry said.
Opening the envelope, he saw the letter dated 10th February 2019. He started reading the first few lines:
"Hi M Shoukry,
I found many old VHS tapes recently and wanted to see what is on them and realized I had no player. So I went to EBay for the first time and discovered your offer."
After this line, he stopped everything and had to tell his girlfriend to read it with him. He said, "We were watching the Blues hockey game at the time, and one line into his letter, I immediately paused the game and had to share it with her."
The letter continued:
"I bought your VHS and you shipped it within a few days. The VHS looks new and unused. Amazing. I had some issues getting it going which were mine and not the player. I am 86 and perhaps not up to my game, but I do get there eventually. And I did and discovered the VHS works perfectly.
Thank you so much for your care, your efforts, and your promptness.
I watched tapes of my retirement party from 25 years ago which I had never seen before. Jeez, were we young. Then a tape of my wedding with all the family and friends, many of which are no longer around. Then skiing trips, kids growing up, travels, and most importantly the gentle maturing of my family.
Each one is more fun than the last. All thanks to your generous selling of the VHS player.
I thought you would appreciate how much someone has enjoyed your offer."
This person sold their VHS player on eBay and got a surprise letter in the mail: pic.twitter.com/oaLV8dUFqR— Yoni (@OriginalYoni) February 17, 2019
Overcome with intense emotion, they "were both on the brink of tears reading" this beautiful story of an 86-year-old man named Don, reliving his past. Wanting to share this elderly man's story, he posted the letter on Reddit and said "Got this letter today. It doesn't get much better than this."
“I’m going to frame (the letter) and put it next to my desk in the house because it means a lot to me,” Shoukry said. “I’m going to offer to digitize his videos so he doesn’t have to worry about his tapes degrading,” he continued.
A man suffering from a disease that could take his life just gave a gentleman a chance to reconnect with his old life. This is the best way to fulfill the proverb, "a life for a life."Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.