Stranger Takes a Photo Just Days Before Wife Passes Away

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
November 24, 2017 Updated: November 24, 2017

A simple photo turned out to be a final memory for a family.

Joyce Rhinehart, an Ohio woman, said she took a photo of a happy family after eating ice cream.

“I have an incredible story to share,” she wrote on Facebook.

“On June 8th I was at Rita’s Italian Ice with my grandson Blake treating him after his tennis lesson. As we were about to leave, there was this sweet family all sitting together on one of the benches enjoying a custard cone.”


Rhinehart added that she felt the urge to take their photo.

“I took this picture below and then handed my phone to the young daughter and told her to go ahead and text the picture to their cell phone. Left to take Blake home and explained to him how I have done this before when I see cute family moments of total strangers so they can have the memory. Usually, I do this on vacation,” she added.

Days later, Rhinehart says she got text meassage–“one that still sends chills through me and brought me to tears.”

The message reads: “Dear madam, you took our picture in front of Rita’s on June 8th. My wife has passed away yesterday and this is the last picture we have together as a family. Please accept my deepest gratitude for your kindness, it means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Rhinehart said that simple acts of kindness could prove powerful.

“I corresponded back with him a few more times and found out his wife had been ill for the past year,” she added. “As I look more closely at the picture it does appear she may be wearing a wig so I’m guessing maybe she had cancer. My [heart] is heavy for this sweet family I don’t even know and the tremendous gift that was left to them cause I listened to my gut that day. I’m in awe!! This has the hand of God all over it!”