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

nightstand and alarm clock

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.

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  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.

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).