Saturday Morning Message: The Difference TAPS Has Made
Author: Carol Lane
The opening picture this week is of some of the participants in the Marine Corps Marathon. I am using it since my daughter ran/walked for TAPS on Oct. 22, and I went to support her. I am so proud of those who took part and also those of us who stayed on the sidelines encouraging them. Staying in the hotel where most of the TAPS participants stayed was something that I wouldn’t have done without my relationship with TAPS. I talked to many people who were staying at the hotel and told them about the mission of TAPS and several of them contributed to our organization. Although I have always been outgoing, attending events in which TAPS participates has given me the chance to talk with others from all over our country, and that is special for me. Each time I go, I learn something from others and also about myself.
This past weekend I learned which electronic device I need to take with me in order for the Saturday Morning Message to go out to everyone. As some of you know, I did not take the right one last weekend, and some of you did not receive last week’s message. Please know that I am so sorry. So this week, I am going to use the same question to give everyone a chance to respond.
Would you like to share a question or read how other survivors respond to a topic or question you have? I would love to gather some thoughts for future Saturday Morning Messages. You can also submit favorite songs that are meaningful to you. It can be helpful to read and hear how others cope. If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who wrote this week, send it to me and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.
In addition to the ideas shared below, we can also honor our loved ones by communicating with each other through writing. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in the week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send them to me by Tuesday of the following week. This week's question is located below my signature. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.
One suggestion a survivor had was to include a song of the week, which is now a weekly section. If you have a song that is special to you or reminds you of your loved one, please send it along with a sentence or two about what makes this song distinctive. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a playlist on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. You can sign up for Spotify for free to listen to the playlist.The playlist is called “Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Songs of Love and Remembrance.” I often listen to it and think of our TAPS family while I am on the computer.
Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message
The question this week is the one from Ellen, fiance of David, who wrote, “People, places and events can affect how we view the world. They can inspire us to participate in activities that we might not have otherwise, take up a new hobby, or uncover a hidden strength or talent. Our paths bring us in touch with others who leave their mark on our lives forever.” So the question this week is: How is your life different because you have been able to connect with others through TAPS?
♫ Song for the Week
Patricia, mother of Kyle, sent the song this week as Oct. 31 will be Kyle’s sixth angelversary. The song is “The Arms of the Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. Hugs to the whole family and friends of Kyle.
Answers from Survivors
From Michele, mother of Stephen: I didn't connect with TAPS right away after my son’s passing. For me, I thought I could handle everything on my own. When I finally opened up to TAPS, I found it was the best thing I could do for myself to find out I was not alone in my pain. I could express my feelings and found out I was so normal with my feelings going through my grief. It was my comfortable place to be. Through the next several years after losing my son, TAPS has helped me understand that I will always grieve my loved one, but it has taught me that it is okay to laugh and smile again. This journey we are on is not an easy one trying to find a new normal, but with the help from TAPS and others I have met, it has helped the journey be more tolerable. I have gone back to golfing with the league I was on before my son died. Feeling comfortable to meet up with friends for lunch. Have been able to do the Fallen Soldier run at Ft. Bliss to honor my son and know he would be so proud of me that I am doing these things. It has not been an easy journey, but with the help of our TAPS family, has helped me make the changes in my life that I would have never thought possible.