New Year 2021
To the TAPS Family:
As hard as 2020 has been, we got through it together. We realized quickly it would be an extraordinary year when doing the little things took on added significance. We were determined no one would go through this alone. We each found ways to encourage one another and TAPS expanded virtual programming to help us stay connected. Peer Mentors reached out, the TAPS Helpline was and is always available 24/7. We took care of each other…because we are family.
We continue to make difficult times a bit brighter for our families, friends, neighbors, and nation because we are each willing to be a light in the darkness, an example of hope when hearts are heavy. As we go into a new year, we carry these incredible lessons. We hold close in our hearts the realization that compassionate care, for both ourselves and each other, through even the smallest of acts can make the biggest difference in this life we share.
Wishes from Survivors
A few survivors share with you their wishes for the New Year.
Don Lipstein, surviving father of MA2 Joshua Lipstein, U.S. Navy
I am looking to find peace, love, and kindness inside every soul that crosses my path.
And to my TAPS Family - My New Year’s wish for you is to find hope and healing through the connections each of you make whether near or far. May you feel the peace and love that surrounds you as we walk this journey together.
Andy Ramos, surviving step-father of SPC Jose, Melendez, Jr., U.S. Army
My wife Mara, daughter Mara and I hope for some form of normality. We hope and look forward to the days of seeing the beautiful smiles of our TAPS Family rather than wearing a mask. We are hopeful for the days of interacting with friends and not worrying about social distancing. We look forward to once again being able to shake hands or to hug our friends and let them know everything is ok. And just like years past, when we can all come together in May for the TAPS National Survivor Seminar. This is what we hope for in 2021.
Brian Martin, surviving father of SPC Wyatt Martin, U.S. Army
My wish for the new year is that we can all see each other in person again. There is powerful healing when we are physically together.
Amy Dozier, surviving spouse of SFC Jonathan K. Dozier, U.S. Army
Friends, 2020 has had a strange and remarkably profound effect on us in a way that sometimes feels extremely familiar. The loss. The chaos. The wild unknown. Fear. Anxiety. Sadness. This year has ripped away what seems like a new life we were just beginning. At times I have felt helpless. But I’ve tapped into my grief toolbox that I’ve collected through TAPS and what I can tell you is this: practicing hope has gotten me through some pretty dark days.
Hope is not just a desire. It is an offering of compassion to yourself and to the world around you. An opportunity to transition into a more peaceful headspace. Hope is what reminds us of what we have and what we can be. Some days hope looks like a cup of coffee and a walk outside with a friend. Other days it might feel like utter stillness and reflection. Finding hope in the newness of life transforms us into incredibly resilient people. For me, creating a vision board of what I seek has been helpful as I turn towards the year ahead. My wish for you is that you seek trust in the process of hope and in turn, find the beauty of what is possible in 2021.
Jennifer Miller, surviving ex-spouse of CPT Lowell Thomas Miller, II, U.S. Army National Guard
This past year has been difficult for so many people, and in so many ways. My wish for everyone is that we take the time to find the little things in life that we can be grateful for. May this be a time to hold our family and friends close and restore lost connections. I wish an abundance of love for my TAPS family this upcoming year.
Share Your Wishes
What are your wishes for the TAPS family in the coming year? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: TAPS Archives