Saturday Morning Message: Sharing Favorite Meals

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Last week’s question came from an idea that Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew, sent along with an article in the Spring 2017 TAPS Magazine, titled, “Making Memories at Mealtimes.” Since the Fourth of July will be celebrated on Tuesday, many of us will share a meal with family and friends. This is one place where memories are made. A week ago, I spent some time with my family who lives about four hours from where I live. I couldn’t believe all the laughter, and sometimes tears, that came as we talked about our past. Over the Fourth, we are going to my husband’s brother’s camp to meet with more family and share food and thoughts. This week’s question is about sharing some of those memories with those who read the Saturday Morning Message. We look forward to reading your responses.

Sharing Favorite Meals

I know this time of year can bring sorrow as well, but I wish you feel the love that TAPS has for you. Please know you are not alone. The helpline at 800-959-8277 is always open.

Questions are the backbone of the Saturday Morning Message. In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am looking for more questions. If you have questions or topics you would like to see addressed in the Saturday Morning Message, you can email me at I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In addition to replies that are placed in the message, I also look for thoughts you have. You can write to me anytime just to communicate or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday afternoon. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

Questions about our memories acquaint us with your loved one. This week’s question is: Could you share a memory of what your loved one liked to do on July Fourth? I'm looking forward to meeting your loved one in this special way. 

Song for the Week

I thought this version of “America the Beautiful” would be great for this week as many people start thinking about vacations to different parts of the country. Not only do you hear the song in this video, but you also see pictures from across the country.

Answers from Survivors

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew: My son, Andy, loved almost everything and enjoyed cooking, so when he and his twin were about 8 years old or maybe a bit older they had the job of cooking dinner one night a week in the summer to start.

They worked as a team, but as they got older I assigned them each a night to cook and took them to the grocery store to buy their ingredients. My Andy loved Italian food, and he started making homemade meatballs and spaghetti with a big garden salad (his father HAD to have a salad each night). He also made a mean garlic bread. He did that once a week for about three or four weeks and then came to me and said, “Mom, I would like to branch out a bit! How about I cook ravioli next week?”

He eventually, while in the service and after traveling to places I will never know about and spending time in Belize training in the Army, made his own ceviche. He often served it to his girlfriends with fish he caught himself. He loved diving and catching fish, so it fit! Such wonderful memories come flooding back.

From Diane, mother of Caleb: The Fourth of July reminds me of all the great times we have had as a family. One of Caleb's favorites was ice cream. It became a tradition that I'd make homemade ice cream for the Fourth of July. He loved that along with our cook-out with our homegrown Angus burgers and brats. He not only was the life of the party, but he made me feel like I was such a great cook!

From Carol, mother of Bryon: When Bryon was younger, we frequently took the family to a local pancake restaurant near us. I didn’t realize how special that place was to Bryon until he asked to go there every time he came home on leave. Now I plan to go there for his birthday this year. It has become a special place and brings back such warm memories.

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS Family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).