BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Four months after a deadly attack on law enforcement claimed the lives of three Baton Rouge officers, on what would have been Cpl. Montrell Jackson's birthday, his widow, Trenisha, spent the day spreading Christmas cheer in the hopes of keeping his spirit alive.
Outside the Walmart on O'Neal Lane around lunchtime Friday, besides the usual chorus of Salvation Army bells, there was another sound, another message ringing clearly this holiday season. Jackson spent the day handing out cookies, cupcakes, and pies to the community. While she received several hugs and well wishes, her goal was to give to others.
"To see people hating each other is just, it's horrible," Jackie Gautier said. "We've got to stop the hate."
"There's so many negatives that I can come out here and see a positive. That just made my heart smile," said Clare Dauzart.
The treats on the table were free and there was no catch. All Trenisha asked was for people to grab one and keep her husband's memory alive by not letting hate infect their hearts. While she was too emotional to speak on camera, she said her husband's memory and his hope for Baton Rouge is enough to speak for itself.
"It shows how strong of a woman she is and how dedicated her and husband were to making a difference in the community," Christopher Miera said.
It's that strength Miera said brought his family out, and they did not come empty handed. They brought a bear and card for Montrell's son, Mason.
"He loved his wife and he loved his child just like I love my wife and I love my children and we wanted my wife and I to keep that in our hearts and our memory as well," Miera added.
The O'Neal Lane Walmart is special to Trenisha. It's where she and Montrell met when they both worked there together in 2005. Bobette Hanson remembers working with them both and said hearing of his death hit their family hard.
"It really did and as a matter of fact, it still does," Hanson said. "This is a hard pill to swallow. It's really hard to get past."
Trenisha and her son, Mason, are getting through it one hug at a time and she hopes that her husband's dying wish for his city resonates with people just in time for Christmas.