“I May Have Lost My Son, but I Gained an Army”—Mom Shares Bittersweet Photo Just Days After Son’s Death

His death was really just the beginning of a whole new life together for this teen’s family and friends.

No parent should ever have to bury their child. Like too many parents before them, Kevin and Michelle Wilton were faced with that tragic reality.

On July 9th, 19-year-old Skyler Wilton was out for a ride on his motorcycle when one of the tires popped and he was ejected from the bike.

The teen with an infectious smile and HUGE heart for life, passed away that night.


In the days and weeks that followed, the Wilton’s were reminded of the imprint that their son had left on the community. Whether it was the 600+ people who attended his memorial, or the hundreds of friends who gathered around the scene of the accident for over a month, it’s clear that Skyler loved deeply and was loved by others.

Just four days after the death of her oldest son, Michelle took to Facebook to share an incredible thing that happened at her house that night.

It was her daughter Malia’s 12th birthday.


With the photo, Michelle wrote:

As many of you know I lost my son Skyler Wilton due to a tragic motorcycle accident this past weekend. What more could a mother ask for than to have all his friends love and support his baby sister Malia for her 12th bday!! Look at the love and support!! My heart is filled with so much love! I may have lost my son, but I Gained an army!! Love you all!!”

Over 30 people—this whole “army” of Skyler’s friends showed up to celebrate as if Malia was their own little sister. On a day that a 12-year-old girl was never expecting to be mourning the loss of her brother, his friends made sure she wouldn’t have to.

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Skyler loved cars, God and very obviously his family. But even more encouraging is that his family goes far beyond just his parents, brother and sister. In another post Michelle wrote, “Just thinking how blessed I am to gain a new family of Skyler Wilton’s friends.”

During some of the darkest, most painful times of this family’s life, they were reminded that they are not alone. God used the “family” around the Wiltons to be their comfort and peace, and to continue doing life with them as they all mourn together.

Michelle put it perfectly, “I may have lost my son, but I gained an army. Love you all so much!”

Their army tackled one of the many devastating days to come for this beautiful family. Our prayers are with the Wiltons, and their entire army of brothers and sisters who would do anything to keep Skyler’s imprint alive. We love their determination to remind this family that they are never alone. And we’re truly inspired by the strength and love of Skyler’s entire “family.” 


Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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