Saturday Morning Message: God Winks

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

There were so many interesting God winks sent this week that I think it will take two weeks to share these marvelous moments in our lives. If you have a God wink you would like to share after reading this week’s message, feel free to send it along. I will include it in the monthly Writers’ Circle that is sent to those who request it.

Stink Eye Bird

 

The picture this week comes from Debra, wife of Thomas. It goes with her God wink. Debra wrote, “Tom is a great one for making his presence known from time to time by the means of God winks. He leaves me pennies in some very odd places. I swear that Tom will try to get my attention by other means also. This stink eye bird one afternoon had me laughing. I had taken Gus, my dog, to lunch at Wendy’s and was cheating on my diet. (Tom would oftentimes raise his eyebrow and teasingly give me the stink eye when I was trying to diet, but gave into the call of the French fry.) I had parked the car under a tree to watch the squirrels (Tom loved his squirrels) and no sooner had I turned off the car engine than a bird landed on the driver’s side mirror and just sat there staring at me. The bird didn’t want any food, it just sat there looking at the two of us in the car the entire time. Gus, who usually will bark at birds, just sat very quietly and watched our strange lunch visitor. The bird didn’t leave until I was about ready to leave. God winks make me smile and I know that Tom is still around watching over us.”

Remember, you can write to me anytime just to communicate or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. I look forward to hearing from you. My email address is online@taps.org.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

Next week will be a continuation of the God winks that have been sent. 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. It can be helpful to read and hear how others cope. Send them to me at online@taps.org. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

 

♫ Song for the Week

The song this week comes from Barbara, mother of David: My son Robert is getting married in two weeks. His older brother, David, who died in 2012, will be incredibly missed. Robert is setting up a memorial table at the reception hall. The wink I received happened at mass last weekend. The song On Eagles' Wings was played at communion and I instinctively knew it was David telling me that everything would be OK and he will be present at his brother's wedding. The song has a lot of meaning to us as it was sung at David's funeral. 

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at online@taps.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address.

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: Have you had a God wink that you would like to share with our group?

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: Last Monday I had the funeral for my dad, a WWII Naval Veteran. This was a military cemetery in the far eastern part of Long Island. The first part of the service is the military, then the religious part. When my daughter from another mother, JoAnna, got up to speak, car alarms went off. She dated my son, Gene, for more than 13 years. All of us got out our keys and started clicking to no avail. Finally, she stopped talking and yelled, “Gene, enough already.” The cars went silent and she continued with her speech. My dad and my son are buried in the same section. They were very close and JoAnna was close to both.

From Samira, mother of Andres: One day I was at the cemetery crying and lying down at the side of the tomb, broke and wanting to die at that moment, but a butterfly landed in front of me and I stopped crying. I came back and stopped. I felt his presence. I think my Son Andres said, “I am with you Mom.”

From Ginny, wife of John: My God wink happened this week. I’m in a political science class with approximately 25 other people. We have a big research project on a country due in November. We drew our assigned country randomly from a vase. I stopped in my tracks as I saw my country. It was South Korea. My husband was a Korean linguist and an expert on the Korean Peninsula. Needless to say I couldn’t focus on the rest of the class!

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: My God wink happened shortly after Michael passed. He passed away in August 2016. My birthday is in July. That year for my birthday he bought a plane ticket for me to visit friends in Detroit, in September. So one month after he was gone I went on the trip. I overslept my first night there and he came into the room saying 'Momma-san, are you going to get up'? It was so real that I instantly awoke.

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew: I was sitting there on the patio and all of a sudden a butterfly came up and landed on my eyeglasses. How he knew to land on my right eye is beyond me as my left eye is an artificial one. I sat there frozen until he flew away. I could not think about it that time as I had to get ready for the funeral.

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at online@taps.org and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.


UPCOMING VIDEO AND TEXT CHATS
 

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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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Join Us for the Next Virtual Seminar

Please join us for our September Virtual Military Survivor Seminar, September 18 and 19. This two-day event will begin on Friday evening with Sharing Groups and conclude with a session on meditative movement. Activities begin at 2 p.m. Eastern on Saturday and will be presented at no cost to you. Our sessions will be led by experts in the field of grief and loss, offering opportunities for you to gain tools and resources. 

#ListenLearnLove 

The TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar is going virtual. Held October 16-18, you will hear from others who have walked the road you are traveling. Sessions will offer vital information on anxiety, loss and family dynamics, talking to children and more. The grief that follows suicide loss can be uniquely complicated. You are not alone, and we invite you to join us for a time of hope and healing. 

Peer Mentor Training 

Looking for a chance to give back? You've been through the early days of grief and remember how connecting to TAPS was helpful to you. You remember when another reached out a hand to you to share the journey. Now you may be ready to help someone else. TAPS Peer Mentors are survivors who are 18 months beyond their loss and feel ready to be a companion to another. You may even find that opening your heart to another will offer you continued healing as well. Become a TAPS Peer Mentor.

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

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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, 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 illnessloss@taps.org

Those who take the survey will receive a discount to the TAPS store for providing this important and valuable feedback. 
 

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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit smile.amazon.com, 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 online@taps.org.

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.