I grew up poor raised by strict immigrant parents who never hesitated popping me in the mouth for what they considered a “look.” I also never received much affection from my parents (I was 22 when my dad first told me he loved me). My earliest memories of receiving affection was this nice old white man on television telling me I was special. There was this man I had never met, telling me he loved me and that I was special just the way I was.
Every morning for half an hour, I was the king of the world who could do anything. A half hour, then it was back to getting yelled at and feeling like a worthless piece of shit.
When I heard he passed, I cried. This man wasn’t just some television host, he was a part of me. He taught me to speak English. He was the only voice of encouragement when everyone (including teachers) told me I was an idiot and that I was worthless. He was the only person I knew loved me. I wonder how many other children who grow up in horrible situations found comfort in the kind old man on television, and like me, developed a sense of self worth due to the guy.
We live in a world where people have alterior motives when helping people out. Not this guy. I wish I would’ve had the chance to meet him and thank him for the huge impact he had on my life and the lives of other children.