Have you ever felt compelled to do something without really knowing why? That’s a regular feeling for Joyce Rhinehart of Columbus, Ohio. She’ll often offer to take pictures of families when they’re out on the town, so they have a way to remember that outing years later.
Usually, she does this while she’s on vacation but sometimes she’ll just start doing it out the blue, as was the case on June 8th.
After her grandson’s tennis lesson, Rhinehart decided to take him out to Rita’s Italian Ice for a frozen treat. It was a fun uneventful outing for the most part but, right as they were about to leave, Rhinehart noticed another family eating there. They looked like they were having a good time, so she stopped to say hello and offered to take their picture.
“Something urged me to ask them if I could take their picture, which they did not hesitate to agree,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“I took this picture and then handed my phone to the young daughter and told her to go ahead and text the picture to their cell phone.”
Rhinehart did not think much of it, at the time. She was glad that the family had something that they could remember that day by but she more or less went on with her life. About a week passed, and she received a message on her phone from an unknown number:
“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 texted the man back and forth a few times and discovered that his wife had been battling a serious illness for the past year. While she was sad to hear that this woman had passed, she was glad that she stepped in because it gave the family one last photo to remember her by.
“Never underestimate a simple act of random kindness,” she wrote. “My heart is heavy for this sweet family that I don’t even know and the tremendous gift that was left to them because I listened to my gut that day. I’m in awe!”
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