Jamie-Lynne Knighten is on a mission to honor the legacy of Matthew Jackson, a man she barely knew.
On November 10, Knighten met Jackson for about five minutes at a Trader Joe’s grocery store in Oceanside, CA. But what happened in those moments, and the tragedy that followed, put the young mother on a quest to honor the 28-year-old whose kindness left a deep impression.
Jackson was behind Jamie-Lynne Knighten when she was trying to shop for food for the week and ran into some trouble paying. He stepped in and offered to pay her entire $200 bill as she desperately called her bank.
With a crying baby in her arms, groceries ready to go and a mounting line behind her, Knighten said “her credit card was declined at the cash register due to an anti-fraud block.” She had just returned from traveling abroad.
Then, in a random act of kindness, Knighten says Jackson stepped in saying, “‘May I? May I take care of your groceries?'”
“It just felt like this huge hug, this great big bear hug,” the married mother of two said.
Jackson said he wanted nothing in return; he simply wanted her to do the same for someone else. She agreed, but asked his name and where he worked, thinking that somehow she still wanted to acknowledge his selfless act.
About a week later, when she finally had a moment, Knighten called Jackson’s boss at LA Fitness, to say how kind he had been, and perhaps bring him a gift.
But when she asked the manager to speak to Matthew, he broke down in tears. Matthew had died in a car accident less than 24 hours after their encounter.
According to a report released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s, Jackson was killed in a crash on Nov. 11. “He was with two others when the vehicle veered off the road in the 2100 block of Vista Way in Oceanside. The car struck a tree, killing Jackson. The two other people in the vehicle survived.”
Knighten says she’s a person of faith and, therefore, has faith her “pay it forward” angel didn’t die in vain. She’s still coping with what happened but believes people should hear his story and be encouraged to live life like he did.
Please pass it on.