When we see a person in need, it can be quite easy to look the other way or walk past quickly.
But in the case of Tara Murphy, stopping to help a stranger changed her life in the most beautiful way possible.
On September 6, 2016, Murphy was driving in Martinsburg, WV, when she spotted an elderly woman walking in the middle of the road.
She immediately called 911, but they told her that the police had spoken to the woman and that she was simply walking to the store. But Murphy knew there was no store in that direction for 8 miles, meaning the woman was on a 16 mile roundtrip walk!
Scroll through below to see what happened when Murphy pulled over to help this complete stranger, and why her beautiful story is now inspiring people around the world.
This small act of kindness just goes to show what a great difference we can make in the lives of others, and how those acts can change our hearts for good.
Last year, Tara Murphy posted these beautiful images and this stunning story on Facebook:
“So this morning in Martinsburg I spotted the woman walking the road. At first I drove past her but then I decided to turn around and see if she was okay.
“I slowed down despite traffic and asked if she was okay, she looked at me said nothing and kept walking. Worried I called 911 to report it.
“I learned that others had called and that the police had spoke to her, she said she was going to the store.”
“I thought for a second confused because the direction she was heading had no stores for miles. So I waited.
“She eventually came across the street and I pulled up, rolled my window down and asked her again if she was okay. She told me she was walking to the store just as the dispatcher said, but this time I asked her what store exactly.”
“She said the bank and to the store, I asked her where the store was, she said ‘Hedgesville.’ I was stunned — Hedgesville is 10 mins driving from where we were talking.
“She leaned on my window and I asked her why she was walking. She went on to tell me she is from Hedgesville, her son died and they moved her to Martinsburg too far from anything she knew. Tears came to her eyes and she said, ‘so I am walking.'”
“I offered her a ride. She looked confused so I told her to get in and I would take her where she needed to go and then make sure she got home safely. She got in my car and then the most amazing stories came to light.”
“Her name is Isabelle, she is 93 years old and a full blooded Indian. As we drove she pointed out the mountain she was born on, told me how the very roads we were driving were once dirt and she’d walk them when she was young.
“She spoke of her 5 husbands, her first being wed to her when she was just 13 years old. She told me stories of Pearl Harbor and the Hindenburg. She was amazing, full of life and laughter.”
“I took her to the Food Lion she wished to go to, [and] before she walked in I told her I’d be waiting. When she came out she only had a single bag with a container of instant coffee, saw me and smiled.
“She got back in and laughed and asked me if I knew where she was going because she didn’t . I laughed back and told her I would take her home, she looked at me and asked, ‘Do you know where I live?’
“I smiled and told her I didn’t but ‘let’s drive and you can try to remember as we go.'”
“Again she told me stories of her family… she was such a sweet lady. She continued to tell me stories of the buildings and land, of all that came and went. She pointed out where the hospital now used to be the orchard she worked at when she was 12 and how they worked, of how her first love was the farm hand but was forbidden to love a ‘red girl.’
“I finally got her home and she looked at me and thanked me. I gave her a card with my name and number and told her that anytime she needed a ride to please call me. She again looked at me confused and said, ‘I don’t know where you came from but thank you.'”
“I probably will never hear from Isabelle, potentially will never see her again. But she gave me one of the most incredible mini adventures by allowing me to travel back into time to experience the stories of her life. I hope Isabelle is okay, that knows she is incredible and touched my life today.
“Let this be a lesson for anyone who has a gut instinct to reach out and help a stranger.”
After Murphy’s words and photos were posted online, Isabelle’s granddaughter commented, letting everyone know that Isabelle was doing OK and was being looked after.
Murphy told LittleThings of the overwhelming response to her story, “It’s been truly incredible.”
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