The exchange of pleasant notes that Wednesday in Excela Frick Hospital in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania was intriguing, like an ‘an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’ thing except that the notes were ‘Get Well’ reciprocated with ‘Stay Safe’ and the people behind were an old lady and a middle aged man.
No, this isn’t a romantic, May-December type of love story. It’s about initiating kind words and gestures that random people emulated.
The first to scribble and post the “Get Well” note in one of the beams was Union Iron Worker Jeff Reick. He first waved to the “lady in the hospital window” who always stared at their direction while they work on the renovation of the front entrance of the hospital. Minutes later, he scribbled the note with a chalk. It didn’t take long when the reply note, “Stay Safe” from the window caught his attention. He explained that the expression ‘stay safe’ was a lingo among ironworkers.
The post did come from Gloria Porter, an 88-year old who had been confined in the hospital for a week due to pneumonia. She was already in the stage of recovery at that time, got bored doing nothing, and so watching the construction workers from the hospital window became her form of entertainment. And that note was written and posted by the hospital workers who were with her and who similarly found Jeff’s gesture amusing.
“We were scared of the guys who were at scaffolding because it was so high,” Gloria said, explaining how she got fixated to the construction scene. But that one particular day alarmed her because of the heavy blowing of wind and snow. She didn’t expect to see the note wishing her well and found it precious.
The photos of the notes, Gloria Porter beside the note, and Jeff Reicke, became an instant hit when the hospital staff shared them on social media. Some netizens put malicious meanings into the photos, prompting Gloria to say, there were many bad stories that came out. Jeff Reicke surely learned that though what really transpired was the showing kindness to others, he preferred not to magnify those who made fun of their photos. “Be a good person and hope that everybody would do things like that,” was all Jeff could say.
And it did prevail because come Friday morning, a random person, a woman, who was touched with the exchange of kind notes between Gloria Porter and Jeff Reicke dropped by the site to give lunch money for the construction workers.
Only shows that goodwill is a contagion that is worth spreading.