Stranger Offers to Take Family's Photo, Then Learns Days Later What It Meant To Them

It's probably happened to you-- you're out on a family vacation, or celebrating your birthday with friends, and you stop for a picture. Some kind soul jumps in to offer to take a group shot so that everyone can get in on it.

Or perhaps you are that kind stranger, always ready to lend a hand and snap a photo of loved ones. At the time, it seems like such a simple gesture. Sometimes, though, it can mean so much more.

One woman found out just how much that seemingly insignificant offer can mean. She shared her story, and it's giving people chills on social media.

Joyce Rhinehart has always been one of those people willing to offer a minute to strangers so she can help them capture their memories. She remembers one time in particular that has made her even more happy to do this for strangers she might run into when they're juggling the selfie stick.

Rhinehart says she had just picked up her grandson from his tennis lessons, and the two went out to Rita's Italian Ice for a tasty treat. As they were leaving the snack shop, the grandmother noticed a family sitting around enjoying their ice cream together.

The mom, dad, and children all looked so cute and happy, and the older woman couldn't help but notice them.

Rhinehart had a strange thought enter her head: they should capture this moment in a photo. without them even asking, she walked over to them and asked them if she could snap a picture and capture a memory for them.

The family heartily agreed and were grateful for the offer. They posed while Rhinehart used her own camera to snap a portrait. "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," she said.

Rhinehart and her grandson had a chat on the drive home, and the grandmother revealed that she often offers to take a photo for people. She thinks it's nice to be able to give people a special memory. Eventually, the two moved on to a new topic and the family slipped their mind.

In the next few days, Rhinehart wasn't even thinking about the family. Then she got a text message from a number she hadn't saved. She didn't remember the number so she took a peek, and was stunned by the note she received

"Dear madam," the text read. "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 family back to express her condolences. She and the father of the family got into a conversation and he explained that his wife had been sick for the past year.

"Never underestimate a simple act of random kindness," Rhinehart concluded. "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!"

Source: Yahoo, PopSugar
Photo: Facebook/Joyce Rhinehart

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