Saturday Morning Message: Special Places

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

This week’s message talks about a special place. Each summer our family went to the coast of Maine, which is shown in the opening picture today. We would go there in late August, just before school started, to catch the last of the warm weather, swim in the ocean and eat lobster. It was a fun time and I remember it fondly. Below, other survivors share memories of their special places.

Beach and ocean scene

If reading this blog brings up some memories for you, please feel free to write them down and send them to me. Monthly, I put together a longer selection called the Writer’s Circle, which includes longer essays, poems and other written pieces. You can sign up to receive it and I will be delighted to add your thoughts to the September edition.

I look forward to hearing from you for questions you would like to see in the Saturday Morning Message or any ideas on what might make it more helpful. My email address is online@taps.org.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week's question: Is there a place you and your loved one went that is special just for the two of you?

From Alicia, mother of Nathan:  We lived in Houston, Texas, from 1987 until we moved to Arizona in 2003. Our son, Nathan, grew up there from age 3 and went through school in the district where my husband and I worked.  All of our friends there watched Nathan grow up and graduate from high school.

This past April, my husband and I went back to Houston to attend the wedding of one of our friends’ daughter, who was also close friends with Nathan. It was quite a happy reunion for all of us and a time not only to share the joy of our friend's daughter's wedding, but share stories about the kids, including Nathan, growing up together. This tight knit group of friends were the best relief for us to share stories openly, laugh and cry together.

Coming back to Arizona, both my husband and I shared a feeling that the trip was the best medicine we could have asked for to help us continue our journey without Nathan on this earth.  We still mourn, yes, but also received a salve to help us spend more time celebrating our happy memories.

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew: Andy was attending college locally and living with me. Often, maybe once a week or every two weeks, we went out to dinner or I had him invite his buddies in for a meal.

Once, the two of us went out in the late afternoon to a restaurant that was owned by the same company as the restaurant where my Andy worked as a waiter and bartender after classes.

Andy told the waiter to space out the dishes, so we could have time together as we were in no rush. That was great and so was the meal and the conversation. Andy and I could talk about anything at any time. I miss that for sure.

At the end of the meal, Andy asked the waiter, “Can I please speak with your manager?” The waiter was obviously upset and worried about what he might have done. The beauty of this is that Andy told this manager that he worked at another restaurant owned by this company and that he wanted the manager to recognize and acknowledge this young man’s excellent service!

Andy said, “Mom, when someone does a good or better job they should be applauded, so they know their work was recognized.”

At one or more of the events held for my son after he was killed, many officers told me how he was considered and honored to be the most caring, understanding and present medic they had ever met. He was also known for his listening skills.

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.

 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

Grieving can rob us of our creativity for awhile. We can give each other ideas about reviving this aspect of our lives, so this week’s question is: What do you do to express yourself creatively? Maybe it is through writing letters, building things, creating sewing projects or any other activity. I would love to share pictures of your creative expressions in next week’s Saturday Morning Message. You can also let us know about a creative activity you have been thinking about doing. 

We can 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 online@taps.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 it to me by Tuesday morning of the following week. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

 

♫ Song for the Week

The song this week connects with our topic of going to special places. It is "I’ll Be Seeing You," sung by Rosemary Clooney, and was sent by Perry, father of Christopher. Perry wrote, “Coming from a family who served in WWII and as a history buff myself, this song touches me on so many levels. It is as relevant today as when it was written. The perspective of the singer is that of a loved one remembering the special places they had once shared together. We all have places like this. The song brings those memories back in a heartwarming way, remembering the life together.”

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at online@taps.org.


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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#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. 

Celebrating 20 Years of Team TAPS 

For 20 years, Team TAPS has honored our heroes and raised awareness and funds to support the TAPS mission. This year, in celebration of our 20th anniversary, we are coming together to create a virtual movement. We will walk, run, bike, swim, and row - find ways to move in honor of our loved ones. We will gain strength, go the distance, and encourage each other. Join us for this adventure

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

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We're all in this together

Have you lost your job or have reduced household income? How has the pandemic made an impact on your life? 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. Please share how COVID-19 has impacted you by taking our survey.

 

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 either 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.