Saturday Morning Message: Gotcha! Survivors share the pranks their loved ones pulled off

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

This picture comes from Sue, mother of Marcus. It shows the glint in her son’s eyes as he surprised the family wearing a Santa hat. This seemed to be the perfect opening for this week’s Saturday Morning Message with the topic of pranks. At this time of uncertainty, I am glad to share memories of pranks played on our fellow survivors. I hope they put a smile on your face.

Sue son Marcus

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: April Fools’ Day is coming up! We wanted to hear stories about your loved ones’ sense of humor. Did your he or she play a trick or prank on you? Tell us about it.

From Cella, spouse of Daniel: Every single day there were pranks pulled on myself and our boys by my husband. whether it was scaring the boys behind walls and doors to making light of his combat injuries (TBI and PTSD) and pretending to get lost in Target and making the store associates call my name on the intercom to pick up my husband at electronics because he was lost.

Belinda's son Benjamin

From Belinda, mother of Benjamin: Benjamin liked to surprise me by not telling me when he was coming to visit, giving gifts or money. He also had a sense of humor. I especially remember one time when his son was born and I went to visit.

One day he was sitting on a low table and I was on the floor between his legs. I asked a member of the family to take our picture (Benjamin didn’t particularly like to have his picture taken or smile much in them). About the time it was taken, he put his finger at the nostril of my nose and he was smiling. That picture is one of my favorites.

From Britnee, daughter of James: My dad had always been known for his sense of humor. I have always been terrified of frogs. Once when I was 12, I fell asleep on the couch while we watched a movie. He went outside and found a frog, laid it in my chest and woke me up simply through screaming. I cried so hard, but I laugh so hard today remembering those days. Miss him so very much.

From Samantha, fiancé of Preston:  Preston, my fiancé, had the best sense of humor. On our first date, he told me he had flowers for me. He then proceeded to hand me a five pound bag of flour.

From Lisa, mother of John: My son, John, arranged with his 16-year- old brother's school to surprise him upon returning home from deployment. The secretary had John wait in the principal's office, sitting in his chair, turned around backwards. Then they called my younger son to the office. He was scared to death, wondering what he could've done. When he entered the office, his brother turned around in the chair and greeted him. It was captured on video. Hilarious!

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 

In this time of physical distancing, we miss being able to be with our friends and family, so the responses next week to this question may give us some ideas on how to keep in touch:  What has someone done to make a positive difference in your life during this time of social difficulty and self quarantine? We'll publish answers in next week's Message. 

P.S. — Did you know TAPS has a variety of ways to help us feel connected to one another? TAPS TALKS are one-hour long free webinars. Each one deals with a different topic. Check our online calendar to see what we've got coming up this week. You can also check out previous TAPS Talks in our online archive.


♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song seemed to fit the present situation. It is "I Say a Little Prayer" sung by Aretha Franklin. Just remember that you are not alone. 

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


Related Stories

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Funny Moments

Sharing memories of our loved ones sometimes makes us laugh and they always make us feel less alone.


Lifting Our Spirits

We all have such unique ways of creating a way to lift our spirits when we are down. Reading the imaginative ideas other survivors have to share.


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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.

Color and Flow: A Women's Empowerment Virtual Retreat

If you're a female survivor who can identify a disconnect between emotions and the physical body, we invite you to consider joining us for Color and Flow, an eight-week virtual retreat from February 12 to April 9, 2021 focusing on the ways that we feel blocked or unbalanced. Using movement and creativity, we’ll learn new languages for expressing ourselves and for resolving hurt, pain, and trauma. We’ll investigate where we’re closed off and where we’re wide open, working to understand how we can restore a healthy flow of emotions and energy. As we do, we’ll learn techniques for making sure that we can live vibrantly, even while we’re grieving - tapping into the power that comes from being able to function on the entire emotional spectrum. Color and Flow application now open.

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.