It’s a familiar story – frazzled mum gets to supermarket checkout with her wailing baby, only to find she’s forgotten her bank card. Kind stranger offers to pay, reducing mum to tears. But this story takes a very tragic and unexpected turn. However, we promise by the end of this tale, you’ll realise that from a crushing twist of fate, hope is never far away.
Jamie-Lynne Knighten explains that most nights she doesn’t sleep – as many mums know, a five-month-old and two-year-old are not conducive to a restful slumber. But the Californian admits she’s now having trouble sleeping because weighing heavily on her mind is the stranger who offered to pay for her shopping, and was only hours later killed in a car crash.
A kind deed from a stranger …
Jamie-Lynne explains in a Facebook post that she took her baby to get some much-needed groceries in the evening, but got to the checkout, overtired crying babe in arms, and realised she’d left her bank card at home. She was going to ask the shop to hold her US$200 worth of groceries, when she was interrupted by the man behind her, Matthew Jackson.
“May I take care of your groceries?”
Jamie-Lynne thanked him, but declined. She caved when the young man insisted, asking her to simply pay it forward by doing the same kind deed for someone else. A week later, Jamie-Lynne called Matthew’s boss to tell him what a remarkable man he had working for him. Then, the blow.
“I hear crying on the other end of the line and my heart sinks. I just knew something was wrong. His boss quietly informs me that this incredible human being was in a tragic car accident the very next night and passed away. Not even 24 hours after meeting him. Gone. Just like that. How? Why? I don’t understand,” Jamie-Lynne writes.
“He was a year younger than me and engaged to be married. His boss explained to me how amazing this young man was in his every day life and that what he did for me was just who he was as a person. I still cannot believe it. I thought for sure I would get the chance to see him again, give him a hug and thank him at least once more in person. Now I won’t get that chance, but more importantly no one else will get the chance to meet him. And that breaks my heart.”
Her message on Facebook praising the kind-hearted stranger who came to her aid has since gone viral, attracting messages from around the world, including this poignant entry from Matthew’s own mum.
Paying it forward in Matthew’s honour
Now, in honour of Matthew, Jamie-Lynne has started a Facebook page, Matthew’s Legacy, to encourage others to pay it forward, and spread kindness. We can’t think of a more fitting way to spread the spirit of Christmas.
We are truly loving all of the beautiful good deeds being bestowed on mums, including a Queensland Coles’ employee’s kind gesture to a distraught mum, and cafe owner’s helping hand for a mum dealing with post natal depression.
(Images courtesy Jamie-Lynne Knighten Facebook and Matthew’s Legacy)