Saturday Morning Message: Small Treasures

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The opening picture is a heart necklace that I wear everyday. Inside is my son’s boot camp picture. I chose that as my special item, because I remember how proud he was to have finished USMC boot camp and the day he presented me with a group of pictures from that event in his life. I know you will enjoy the other items shared in answer to this question.

Locket Necklace

The Saturday Morning Messages for this week and January 4 will come from the message archives. The question for both weeks will be the same. You can send responses to and they will be posted after the new year. 

Remember, you can write to me anytime — to contribute, subscribe 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


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week's question: Would you share a special item of your loved one that will help us get to know that person better?


Marine Corps coin


From Betty, mother of Michael: At Michael’s service at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, one of the Marines from Michael’s unit presented me with this item. Much was a fog that day (and for a period after that), but I remembered he told me what it was as he placed in my hand and gave me a hug. I got the impression that it was something he was not supposed to give me, but felt I needed to have. I’ve attached a photo of it with this email. It is shiny, with the USMC logo etched in, but had scratches on the back when I received it. I carry it in a small bag in my purse, always. It represents the love Michael’s unit had toward him—and that is sufficient for me.


art by Stephen


From Michele, mother of Stephen: You know mothers save everything that our children make, because they made them. Gosh, even though they meant something then, they mean that much more now that my son, Stephen, is gone. My husband had an excavating business. Stephen was so intrigued with the excavators and loved to draw. So he decided to make a couple of pictures for his dad. He was our Picasso. Of course, my husband was so proud of him that he framed them. We just cherish those mementos! This is one of the pictures.


Adam's things


From Sheryl, mother of Adam: I moved out of state less than a year after Adam died and had to really prioritize what I kept. It was very tough and I shed a lot of tears.

Pictured are the items that I moved. Adam made the gargoyle in middle school. It reminds me of his creativity and love for fantasy. The Canadian flag is from a family trip to Winnipeg when Adam was about 4 years old. We had other trips to Canada, too, that provide many happy memories. That flag reminds me of his sense of humor. As a joke, Adam liked to try to convince people, even those who knew him since kindergarten, that he was born in Canada. For a year or so he would end sentences with a Canadian, “eh.” When on stage, he often used a Canadian accent. These little things bring tears and smiles.


art by Eugene


From Wendy, spouse of David: The thing that came to mind first when I read the weekly question were these little shoes he made. Our first son, Theo, had the fattest little feet. He could not fit in baby shoes. He started walking at 13 months and wanted to go everywhere, but we could not find any shoes to fit his feet to wander around outside. My husband bought some leather and tools to make moccasins. He sewed the leather together and followed a pattern he got online. The biggest shock to us all was they FIT! Theodore wore those for about six months and then his feet began to get lean as he grew and he was able to fit into other shoes. I have those tucked away in the few baby items we kept from both our boys. I think about those shoes all the time. David loved our boys with all his heart.

Sometimes the only time he would smile is when he was watching or playing with our boys. Sometimes I wonder how it could be my boys are growing up without this man who loved them so deeply or how my husband could be missing all these moments of their lives.


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.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

As I wrote in the opening, next week’s answers will come from responses to the same question: Would you share a special item of your loved one that will help us get to know that person better?

Questions are the backbone of the Saturday Morning Message. In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am looking for more questions for the new year. 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

Brittany, daughter of Anthony, who is a Legacy Mentor in TAPS Good Grief Camp,sent the song for this week, "Don’t Stop Believing," sung by Journey. Brittany wrote, “Before any TAPS event I go to, I get really excited. However, that excitement comes with nervousness. I was happy that we started mentor training by singing and dancing to ‘Don't Stop Believin'. It was a great way to break the ice and I quickly became more comfortable with the people around me. That song will forever remind me of my fellow mentors from that event!”

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at and include a note about why the song is meaningful to you.

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).