Saturday Morning Message: Small Treasures Part 2

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The archives of the Saturday Morning Message are very interesting. In response to the question about sharing special items, Kelsey, mother of Michael sent a picture of this alligator. You will read below how this item comforts her. I want to thank those who make this message special throughout the year by reading and sometimes replying to the question of the week. Thank all of you and enjoy this week’s message.

stuffed alligator

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?


From Kelsey, mother of Michael: I saved a stuffed alligator that belonged to my son, Michael, USMC. It has a double special meaning. My mother, who has Alzheimer's disease, made it for him when he was very young. I sleep with it every night, hugging it close to fall asleep.




From Samira, mother of Andres: I love this question. My son, Andres, loved Legos. The last time he came home, in December 2014, he saw that his airplane, a C-130J, in a Lego set at Legoland Park. I bought it and he built it. I miss those days. It is in the same place he placed it and will be there until I am gone. I have all his belongings since Andres was a child. All his belongings are priceless. I wish I could share ALL... Thanks again for this opportunity.


wedding ring


From Ginny, wife of John: My husband’s wedding ring is priceless to me. He was air crew in the Air Force and wasn’t allowed to wear jewelry for safety reasons. He fastened his ring on a 550 cord in his pocket and never left home without it. He often bragged that there wasn’t a mission where he didn’t have his ring, his wedding ring. I now keep it on a chain close to my heart. I can touch it and hold it when I’m anxious or need to feel a piece of my husband close to me.


teddy bear


From James, father of Andrew: Andy usually made a fashion statement. He could make anything look good, and look good together – stripes and checks, purple and orange. He was known in his Karate classes for hisReal Men Wear Pink” T-shirts. It’s hard to go through and get rid of your loved one’s things. And what do you do with clothes, with many of his being oh-so-stylish. Our son and daughter-in-law snuck out some of Andy’s shirts and had a bear made out of them for us last Christmas—striped and solid purple, orange, black and white checks. For us, they go together just fine. He’s quite stylish – with his bowtie, of course! And the bear’s smile – cute, but a little bit off – maybe kind of like a smirk and a grin combined. Really quite simple, but, of course, everyone notices him! Very much like Andy – and like him, priceless to us.


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 

The new year is a time to reflect on what has happened the previous year and plan for the future. It can be helpful to share these thoughts with others, so this week’s question is: What is your resolution for the New Year? We look forward to reading your thoughts. 

Would you like to share a question or read how other survivors respond to a topic or question you have? I would love to gather some thoughts for future Saturday Morning Messages. It can be helpful to read and hear how others cope. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in next week’s message, it is best to send your answers 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

This week’s song is from Leslie, mother of Eugene. Leslie wrote, "My Immortal" sung by Evanescence is about a spirit that stays with you to the point of wishing they might leave. First, I like the sound from the group and that it’s a ballad that gets what it’s like to want a spirit staying with you forever. I also believe the lyricist understood that time doesn’t heal.... You adjust. As I listened, I thought of my son who I miss dearly.”

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.


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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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Breath of Fresh Air With TAPS Outdoors - Season 2

The Breath of Fresh Air series, presented by TAPS Outdoors, is for everyone and requires no previous outdoor experience! With bi-weekly videos and Campfire Chats, we'll help you find the right tips, tools and tricks to navigate the wilds of our natural world and the wilds of your grief.

In Season 2: Sowing Seeds, we will utilize the skills we developed over winter to plant seeds of hope for the flourishing summer ahead. Spring is the season of new beginnings, and we look forward to preparing the ground, planting seeds and growing with you in the journey to blooms. The official launch date is Wednesday, March 3.

Free Webinars Presented by the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®

Gain valuable information and coping strategies through the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing. In February, you have two opportunities to participate in free online sessions. 

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

Virginia National Guard

Tips And Resources To Help You Navigate All Stages Of An Emergency

Our hearts are with our TAPS Families impacted by recent winter weather. You are not alone. You've got this! And we've got you! We are always available to provide compassionate care to our military survivors in any circumstance. We also want to lessen the added stress you may be experiencing due to such emergencies. If you are in need of support, due to a natural disaster, contact our Casework Team at 202-588-TAPS (8277) or via email at for information on available aid and supportive resources as well as read our TAPS Natural Disaster Response article.

We're All In This Together

COVID-19 Support and Resources

At TAPS, we’re no stranger to challenging times, and we’re all doing our part to support one another and get through these difficult times together. As always, TAPS is here 24/7, and our team is working hard to provide resources, services and support to surviving military families as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19. For more information or questions, visit our COVID-19 Response and Resources page or please email us at

Choose TAPS as Your AmazonSmile Charity of Choice

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit, 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

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 202-588-8277.