Saturday Morning Message: "I'm OK. but..."

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Since tomorrow is Fathers’ Day, the opening picture is of James and his son, Andrew, when the family went on a vacation to New Jersey and played miniature golf and Rally Ball. Although this week’s question is about remembering things our loved ones said, I thought you would enjoy seeing the picture of the these two smiling vacationers.

Sometimes the things our loved ones say stick in our minds and bring back great memories. This week survivors have shared these sayings, and you get a chance to get to know these wonderful people. Enjoy this week’s message.

James and his son, Andrew

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What are the things your loved one said that you remember most? 

From Paula, mother of Drew: When my son was a little boy and saw that I was upset (I’m a crier), he’d put his arm around me and say, "Be happy, Mommy." When he was away with the Army, he'd end all his letters to me with, "Be happy, Momma. Everything is going to work out." Whenever I’m sad and missing him, I hear him tell me to "Be Happy, Momma." So in honor of my son and his lifelong wish for me, I do my best to live a happy life because I know that’s what he wants for me.

From Perry, father of Christopher: You could say we were a military family with my mother’s father in the Army, my father in the Navy and myself in the Marines, each of us serving in different branches of the military. Christopher never knew that his great grandfather served in the Army like him. It was in his junior year of high school after 9/11 when he felt he needed to serve. We had talked about him going to Purdue University before 9/11 with plans of working in NASA as many astronauts and scientists had graduated from there.

At the time, I was stationed in Texas when one night I got a call from Indiana. It was Chris. He had come to the decision he wanted to enlist in the Army. I asked him what about college as we had talked about. This was his answer: “Dad, you and Pawpaw (his grandfather) served, now it is my turn to serve. When I get done, I can go to college.” He said it with such pride in his voice. He had always liked military things growing up. I always said he was the patriot of my three sons as each one was different. Chris was killed a little more than a year after that in October of 2005 in Iraq.

From Leslie, mother of Stephen: There is no doubt it is the start of a sentence: "I'm OK, but…" The first time we heard this he was deployed in Korea and he called me at work and started with, "I'm OK, but…" Immediately the thought of him getting hurt entered my mind and I reassured myself, "at least he is able to call and the Army has not come to notify me." I drew all the strength I had and asked, "but what?" 

He replied, "I had a slight bicycle accident and need a new helmet." Relieved it wasn't something worse, he told me where to go and who to ask for to get him a helmet so I could send it to him. 

This became the way he usually announced anything new to us. Most of the time everyone and everything was OK, but it was just life happening. We now have adopted this when we have to deliver life happening news: "I'm OK, but..."  We are so grateful that this makes us laugh as we remember all his "I'm OK buts."


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

TAPS has created many events that you can access virtually. In this way, you can enjoy care groups, workshops and activities for the children. At one of the virtual TAPS care groups last weekend, a question came up from a new survivor that I thought would make a good Saturday Morning Message question: What do you do for anniversaries, birthdays or angelversaries? We look forward to your responses. 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome. You can reply to this message or email In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.


♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song, "Eagles and Horses." sung by John Denver was sent by Debby, spouse of Thomas, who wrote, "Since Tom was a Marine, he used to collect eagle statues and I just liked John Denver and the powerful lyrics this song contains."

There is a great need for more songs for this section. You can send favorite songs for this song of the week section to and include a note about why the song is meaningful to you.


Share Your Thoughts

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 and your thoughts will be passed along to them. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.


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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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Celebrating National Mentoring Month

During this National Mentoring Month, we want to express our gratitude for all of our mentors:

  • TAPS Peer Mentors who take their experience as a military survivor and offer support to those new to grief.
  • Military and Legacy Mentors who companion the youngest members of our family, offering a safe and supportive community.

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn throughout the month, where we will be sharing resources and articles about mentoring, along with quotes and testimonials from our mentors and mentees.

Webinar: Mindfulness as Your Superpower

On Thursday, January 28 at 12 p.m. Eastern, the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® will present a free webinar, "Mindfulness as Your Superpower."

Mindfulness isn’t just for naturally calm people. It is a superpower that can help us cope with the most challenging emotions—even grief. Using superhero case examples, during this workshop, you will learn how mindfulness can help you navigate loss, improve your health, and cultivate much-needed compassion for your grieving heart. 

Join TAPS At One of Our 2021 Seminars

Registration is now open for our 2021 Regional Seminars and our National Military Survivor Seminar. In - Person and Virtual Opportunities are available.

TAPS Seminars offer a comprehensive model of care that brings together adult survivors of all ages for a weekend of hope and healing. Whether you recently lost your hero, have lived many years without them or are somewhere in between, TAPS Seminars are designed to meet you where you are in your grief journey. 

Breath of Fresh Air with TAPS Outdoors: Breathing In The New Year

TAPS Outdoors wants to help you reconnect with the natural world in simple yet meaningful ways with weekly activities you can do anywhere. (Yes, we really mean anywhere.) Our goal is to connect you with the healing power of nature no matter where you live and give you the tools to make meaning out of your experiences. 

As many of us have experienced in our grief, a year of great loss and challenge can also give way to new life and hope. Join us in January for Breathing In The New Year, as we transition into a new year and explore the wild, forging new paths together in our hearts and set foot on trails we've yet to see. 

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

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

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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.