Saturday Morning Message: Fall Plans

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Last week we shared  the article “Making Summer Memories” by surviving spouse Elizabeth Culp. In the article, she wrote, “Planning provides something positive to focus thoughts and energy on.” I’m sharing here a photo of a hydrangea bush, my favorite. One of the reasons I like it is that it provides a focus in my yard and it will keep its flowers into the winter. Then in the spring, I must remove the flowers or it will not bloom the next year. It truly demands my energy for the whole year, but it is most spectacular in the fall.

Carols Garden

Now we are changing seasons once again as summer turns to fall. This will bring emotions that will vary from person to person. Sometimes being with other TAPS families can bring a welcome change. If you would like to plan a trip this fall to be with others who understand, visit Survivor Programs on the TAPS website to get  an idea about what is offered. Sometimes that is all that is needed to lift our spirits and give us a plan for the future.

In the Northeast, the leaves on the trees will soon begin to turn brilliant colors, so I plan to take a short trip to Maine in the middle of September. We used to go there earlier in the summer as a family, but the change is that we go to a different area and visit local spots as well as visit friends instead of going to amusement parks like we did when the kids were little. It is still warm enough there to walk the beach and enjoy the beauty as we travel the back roads to look at the foliage.

This week others shared their plans for a fall change in their lives. I know you will enjoy their responses.

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

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

A God wink at TAPS is a moment when you feel your loved one close to you. It can be just a moment or something can happen like hearing a song on the radio that was your loved one’s favorite. It could also be something out of the ordinary like a butterfly landing on you. So this week’s question is: Have you had a God wink that you would like to share with our group? We look forward to your answers. 

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. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday morning. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.


♫ Song for the Week

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: My son loved Japan and Japanese culture. He spoke some Japanese and listened to Japanese music. At his memorial service we played Sakura Rain. Sometimes I cry when I hear the song; other times I remember him fondly. 

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


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: What are your plans for fall activities that will provide you the most comfort?

From Wendy, wife of David: This is only our second fall. We are just over 18 months out from losing David. Last fall and holiday season was a nightmare for my boys and me. This season I am going to try to do a few different things. We are going to go a few hours north and pick apples during apple season. We picked fruit throughout the summer and we are going to attempt to can jam for Christmas gifts—could be a disaster—who knows. But we are going to try something different. We don't live near any family so David's absence is pretty palpable. We are going to try to do things with and for others and try to connect with the community we have in our lives.

From Merry, mother of Wesley: Wes really enjoyed and excelled at reading. I may just do something a little more public around that to honor and remember him. That would be something new. I really love the change of Aspen leaves here in Colorado and seeing snow on the mountain peaks for the first time as fall approaches. My new plans to do something different and enjoyable this year are to travel to the Crested Butte area to get away for a weekend at the end of September. Hopefully, the leaves will still be showing their color that late in the month. Getting into nature and getting away from a bigger city is extremely helpful to reset my outlook.

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 and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.

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).