Saturday Morning Message: Thanksgiving Favorites

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

This week survivors wrote about their loved one’s favorite foods at Thanksgiving. The opening picture came from Caryn, mother of Nathan, who wrote, “Nathan and his favorite Thanksgiving meal was always one he prepared himself, beginning with this one when he was in middle school. The last Thanksgiving meal I had was the one he cooked with his Dad in 2010.”

Enjoy this week’s message and the variety of foods presented.

Nathan and his favorite Thanksgiving meal

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: What was your loved one's favorite food for the Thanksgiving holiday?

From Robin, spouse of Alex: I would say that my husband's favorite Thanksgiving dish was the sweet potatoes his mom makes. She boils the potatoes and then peels and quarters them. She then puts them in a skillet with butter and brown sugar. A favorite dish made with leftover turkey is what he called Turkey Chow Mein, although he served it over rice not noodles. Basically just leftover turkey stir fried with carrots, celery and onions with a sauce he would make up as he went along. 

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: My son was not a fan of turkey. He loved stuffing and sweet potatoes. I love the people gathered around the table. I think his favorite part of Thanksgiving was the dessert. He loved the pies and ice cream. 

I think his favorite Thanksgiving was his last Thanksgiving. He had just purchased a house and my dad and I drove down to visit and help him set it up. We arrived during Thanksgiving week. My dad had bought these fantastic porterhouse steaks, potatoes and salad fixings. My dad had bought a housewarming gift for the barbecue grill and we had ourselves a fantastic meal … Just the three of us. The pies were store-bought, heated and topped with delicious ice cream. It was a great Thanksgiving. 

From Christine, spouse of Dennis: Dennis loved Thanksgiving! The year we got married, his parents and I went down to North Carolina where he was stationed and his mom made all his favorites, including lima beans. Yes, he loved lima beans!  

You can read many more responses on the TAPS Facebook page

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

This is the time of year when we can’t miss the bright lights and shiny ornaments. When we are grieving, this can be a tough time of the year, so this week’s question asks: If you were going to create an ornament showing something important to your loved one, what would it be? Tell us a little about why you chose that object.In this way, we can create the next Saturday Morning Message filled with ornaments that celebrate the lives of our loved ones. We look forward to your responses. 

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

Sometimes I ask the survivors who come to the chats I help moderate about songs that support them. This week’s song comes from one of those discussions. It is "LandslideWill Bring You Down" sung by Fleetwood Mac. 

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

Caregiver to Survivor Program banner

TAPS recognizes the urgent need to support families who have lost a military loved one after having been a caregiver. The leading cause of death of our military loved ones is reported by survivors to be illness, but we know there are many survivors that experienced a loss after having cared for a loved one who was traumatically injured or diseased as well. 

At TAPS we understand, and we’re here to support our survivors as they navigate a grief journey that may have begun even before the death of your loved one. And, we are mindful of the differences present when someone has been a caregiver before they have transitioned to a survivor. The Caregiver to Survivor Program was developed with this in mind. 

We invite you to explore our resources and encourage you to reach out for support and take advantage of this exciting new program. 

▶▶  Connect With Other Survivors of Illness Loss

Join with other caregivers who supported their loved one through a devastating illness. Honor and share your loved one, the emotions, issues and challenges facing bereaved caregivers. Regardless of the circumstance or geography of the death, you are welcome in the TAPS Caregiver Support Chat. 

Caregiver to Survivor Chat
Wednesday, May 19
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Eastern
We hope to see you there!

▶▶  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.

Did you lose your loved one due to an illness?

Illness Loss Survey

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

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).