The Margin: This touching letter about a VHS player might make you feel a lot better about growing old

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‘I was watching 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 my 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 more fun than the last.’

That snippet was from a letter highlighted in one of Reddit’s most viral posts in 2019 — it received some 215,000 upvotes and more than 2,600 comments, most of which came from readers taking stock in their own lives.

And there wasn’t a dry across the internet.

The nostalgic note was apparently sent by an 86-year-old retiree as a thank you to someone who had sold him a VHS player on eBay EBAY, +0.20%  . “I thought you would appreciate how much someone has enjoyed your offer,” he wrote.

Here’s the full letter:

The letter was flagged by Reddit as part of its recent year-in-review, in which the massive website sifted through millions of posts and comments to find the ones that drew the most attention in 2019.

While the retiree with the VHS tapes made the top five, it wasn’t number one. That crown belonged to a post slamming Reddit for taking money from a Chinese investor, which resonated enough to garner about 228,000 upvotes.

Here it is:

The redditor behind that post is referring to the $150 million Reddit received in a new round of funding from Chinese investment firm Tencent, which runs some of the country’s biggest social networks and sticks to strict censorship demands.

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