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'I've paid for your cake': Mom honors late son's birthday by brightening stranger's day

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Posted at 10:22 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 10:23:18-04

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — An Indiana mother made a heartwarming gesture to honor her son who died at the age of 29, shortly after completing his residency at an Indianapolis hospital in 2015.

Tyler Wilson loved making people happy and he also loved cake.

So, on what would have been his 35th birthday on Sunday, Wilson's mother decided she would help brighten someone else's birthday.

Toni Wilson-Taylor visited a Kroger bakery in Plainfield, Indiana, to purchase a canasta cake, her son's favorite, and asked employees to deliver it to someone who shared a birthday with her son.

"So, I just asked them there at the Kroger Bakery if they had somebody that was going to be celebrating a birthday and picking up a cake (Sunday), and they had quite a few of them," Wilson-Taylor said. "So I just said, 'Well, I'd like to pay for somebody's cake.' And I had written a little note and had put it in there with the receipt that was paid."

The note read:

Today is my son's 35th birthday, his 5th one in Heaven. In his memory I've paid for your cake. Please enjoy, make special memories & hug your children & loved ones tight. My son loved cake!

Love, Toni

Tyler's mom

Wilson-Taylor was surprised on Monday when she saw the cake's recipient, Carolyn Mick, had posted the note on the Town of Plainfield Chatter Facebook page, which was followed by more than 130 comments.

Mick wrote, "Dear Toni.. you know who you are and I want to express how moved I am. This means so much that my husband and I cried together. With the turmoil of things going on it reminds us of what really matters LIFE!"

Wilson-Taylor said she was heartened to read so many kind messages written below Mick's post.

"It was very touching and overwhelming, in a good way. A lot of happy tears (Sunday) and a lot of sad tears. He was so well thought of and so loved," Wilson-Taylor said.

It was also a meaningful moment for Mick, who recently endured her own personal loss.

"My husband and I read the note and had a good cry," she said. "See, I had just lost my mom three months ago and with all the turmoil going on, it just was a very moving thing. Because it now gave me an idea to honor my mom, also.

"So, when I posted the note, it was just meant for a way to let her know that I truly appreciated it and did not truly expect it to be acknowledged as it was," said Mick.

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Tyler Wilson, who enjoyed running marathons, was featured on the cover of Monumental Marathon fan pass following his death in July 2015.

It wasn't the first time Wilson's family worked to touch other people's lives on his birthday.

Last year, his mother and sister, Stephani Wilson, who both have Captain America tattoos in honor of Tyler, began sewing and created 40 surgical masks for Franciscan Health Indianapolis clinicians and staff.

"He was really into Captain America and Superman. Even being a doctor, he was still a boy at heart," Wilson-Taylor said. "It's an honor that he has touched so many lives."

This story was originally published by Daniel Bradley at WRTV.