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.


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Visit the TAPS Online Community Calendar for this week's schedule of text and video chats and other offerings. We have a virtual gathering most days of the week. Whether you want to share your story or just read how other survivors are sharing and coping, this online grief support community is a way for you to develop and strengthen your connections with TAPS.

Other Items and Events of Interest

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This Summer, Youth Programs is hosting TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp at Home through August 28. Each week, there are activities and challenges you can complete individually and as a family. Missed a week? No problem - all activities and challenges from previous weeks are available online. Join us for opportunities for you and the kids to connect to mentors and other families through Zoom sessions.

Make plans to join us for our next Virtual Military Survivor Seminar, August 21 and 22. We have new, dynamic sessions available throughout the weekend at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home. We'll also have Share Groups, our facilitated support groups, where you can meet other survivors with similar loss experience. We look forward to seeing you online soon!

Save the date! Please join us for the Military Survivor New to Grief Seminar, once per week from September 3 to 24. Together we will work toward two primary goals. First, we will grow deeper understandings as we deconstruct myths about grief, explore the cognitive and physical impacts of grief, and seek to establish a helpful language around our own experiences. Second, we will establish community among our peers so that we have others who have a strong desire to accompany us as we continue navigating the ups and downs of our loss and grief.

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Did you lose your loved on due to an illness loss

If your military loved one suffered with a wound, illness, or injury, please consider taking our new Illness Loss Survivor Survey before August 18th, 2020, so TAPS can honor your loved one through our advocacy efforts. If you took the survey last year, we ask that you retake it as we've made important updates. Your response could help shape policy and legislation, and direct future TAPS programs and services. To learn more, email

Have you lost your job, or have reduced work hours? Or are otherwise affected by COVID-19? If you are grieving the death of a loved one, and their life included military service, we'd like to hear from you. Your feedback will be used to improve TAPS programs and to communicate survivor needs to donors and stakeholders. Tell us more.

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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit, log in, and select TAPS as your charity of choice. Amazon will give 0.5% of your eligible purchases to TAPS.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication; written and contributed to by survivors. The primary focus of the Saturday Morning Message is to foster peer-based connection for support and encouragement.  It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive atmosphere where we can openly share in a non-judgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable, and explore any opinions/ideas shared that are most beneficial to you on your individual journey. Content submitted for inclusion in the Saturday Morning Message is edited for spacing considerations, grammatical corrections and may be used in other TAPS publications.  

To subscribe or contribute to the Saturday Morning Message email

If you ever need to speak to someone regarding an urgent matter or just need a listening ear, the loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please feel free to contact TAPS at 800-959-8277.