This is one of those stories that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. If you’re having a bad day, look no further for cheering up. A few weeks ago, the exchange between an 88-year-old hospital patient and an ironworker left strangers stunned.
Gloria Porter of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, spent a week at Excela Frick Hospital. She was passing the time in her third-floor room by watching steel and ironworkers construct the new front entrance of the hospital.
On a cold, snowy day, Gloria was a bit concerned about the safety of the workers. But it was ironworker Jeff Reick who was concerned for the woman he had been watching.
“This one guy looked over at us and waved, so we waved back,” Gloria said. “I looked down on the beam and he had written, ‘Get well.’”
Gloria was stunned at the thoughtfulness of the simple message. She had been looking out for the workers, but little did she know that they had been thinking about her, too.
“I saw the lady at the window looking out. I thought it would be a kind gesture just to tell her to get well,” Jeff said. “I didn’t think much of it. I just tried to make someone feel a little better.”
However, it was Gloria’s response that really hit Jeff hard. The message was simple, but it was as though she had chosen exactly the right words. She scribbled on a piece of paper “Stay Safe.”
“That sign kind of crushed me. I don’t know how she knew ‘Stay safe,’” Jeff said. “It’s kind of like ironworker lingo to stay safe. When I saw ‘Stay safe,’ in the window, I kind of snapped my head around and said [to my coworkers], ‘Did you see that?’”
It was exactly what the workers needed to hear on that dangerous day. Jeff shared the story on Facebook and it sparked even more kindness. That same Friday a total stranger showed up to the construction site with an envelope addressed to Jeff and his crew. Inside was lunch money, another kind gesture that came at the right time.
“I just try to lead by example and be a good person. I just hope everybody would do things like that because the world is not a very nice place,” Jeff said.
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