Saturday Morning Message: 4th of July Ideas

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The picture this week comes from the TAPS files. I thought it would be perfect for the 4th of July edition of the Saturday Morning Message as it has a very large US flag flown by a balloon with the TAPS inscription showing the strong connection between TAPS and our country. 

The 4th of July is another one of those holidays that can bring different emotions to various people. This year I plan to be at a camp on a small lake with my husband’s family. It is always a great time just relaxing, talking with people I don’t see often and listening to the waves wash up against the shore.

Parachutist with TAPS Parachute at PGA Champions Boca Raton Tournament

I hope you enjoy reading the thoughts that other survivors have written. The question was open, so survivors could write about actual activities or share dreams that someday may come true. You can always write to tell me what you did this year. Your activities would make a wonderful addition to the monthly Writer’s Circle put together for those who like to write about their journey and read what others write.

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 online@taps.org.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week's question: What would you like to do for the 4th of July this year?

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: The 4th of July includes BBQ, fireworks and the birth of a nation. What would I like to do? In my dreams I would like to attend the New York City 4th of July fireworks cruise. If there is a 4th of July concert, that would be great, too.

From Samira, mother of Andres: I will be honoring my son, Andres, again this year. I will do our traditional 4th of July that Andres and I had. I go to Epcot to see the fireworks and I eat his favorite food, which are chicken fingers!

From Kitty, mother of John: My younger brother, Ken, had a heart attack just before Christmas this past year. He stated that, if possible, he would like to see the marker placed at our father's burial site in Bushnell, Florida. Our father was a combat medic at Guadalcanal during WWII. He is buried alongside our mother, a WWII Army 1st lieutenant and our grandmother, a WWI Army nurse, in France.

Since I won't be riding on a float in the three-hour Santa Clarita July 4th parade in California nor visiting our son's grave, I would like to visit the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell on this July 4th with our family, my brother, his wife, my sister and my husband. This will be a very special and memorable day.

From Bonnie, mother of Case: For the 4th of July, we will be spending a few days with family at the beach. This is a needed distraction for me. My son, Case, LOVED the 4th of July and LOVED fireworks and all things that go bang! This is another hard time for me, so I have chosen to stay busy and be around people who love me. This is not really what I want to do, but I think this is a smart thing to do since I know this will be rough for me. I have found that if I surround myself with others, even when I want to sit in my closet and cry, it helps my heart. I miss my son every second of every day, but I promised him I would do my best, so I plan in advance to do things I can't really back out of easily, like making a hotel reservation.

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

Since the summer season is underway, let’s share some of the special activities that took place in this season with our loved ones, so the question this week is: What is your favorite summer memory or vacation with your loved one? We look forward to your responses.  

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

During one of the general chats, we talked about a British group called the D-Day Darlings singing songs to remember those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Two of their songs were sent by survivors and I think they make the perfect songs for this week. 

Perry, father of Christopher sent “We’ll Meet Again” and Debra, spouse of Thomas, sent “I’ll Remember You”

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.