Saturday Morning Message: How we spend our time at home

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The opening picture is a rose in my garden. I have been getting the gardens around my house ready, so I may enjoy the flowers this year. Survivors share what they are doing now that they have to spend time at home. Each response is a bit different and unique. Sometimes we find hidden talents or take the ones we have and give them a new twist. Other times we just feel like taking it easy. There is no right or wrong way to handle this. Just remember you are not alone. We are a family and we are here for you. Enjoy this week’s responses.

yellow bloom

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week's question: What are you doing with more time spent at home?


Rock Painting

From Janet, mother of Steven: My mother and I each enjoy simple crafty projects. Painting and simple sewing projects fill the spaces of boredom for us. Recently we started painting rocks.  Before the quarantine, we had friends over to hangout and paint rocks. Just something to keep our hands busy while we converse. Recently, I decided to paint rocks to give my Head Start children. Our school closed down and I wanted to surprise my kids with a gift I hid somewhere in their yards. After I delivered them, I sent out a Facebook message with clues to what I had done. When the children started posting pictures with their treasures and smiles, my heart glowed. We continue to paint and add to our collection. I’m not sure what we will do with our newest rocks, but the possibilities are endless.


From Leslie, mother of Eugene: While we are under quarantine, I’m taking advantage of being able to organize my storage room and the closets. I am at the point where I have to shift winter coats for spring jackets and then I am finished. I have put that off because of the weather.

I am a pianist. I was supposed to perform on April 23 with my friend — solos and piano duets. Due to the virus it was postponed indefinitely. I decided to put all that music aside and practice new music and pieces that would be so unlike me in terms of my normal choice of music. Normally, I enjoy big-sounding romantic pieces from composers such as Liszt, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, etc. I decided to practice Scarlatti sonatas, Beethoven and Mendelsohn.  I must say I am busy and enjoying myself.

Aside from the piano and cleaning, I am reading and FaceTime tutoring children that need help with their schoolwork. I am a retired teacher and have no idea how these teachers are remotely teaching day after day. Three cheers for the teachers!


From Caroline, daughter of Peter: I've been loving the time spent at home. When my dad passed, with the busyness of life in Orange County, I don't think I had a chance to grieve. I have been so busy just trying to get through each day. Maybe I just didn't know how to grieve or feel or process. But the emotions were there underneath and it took a toll on my body with my health breaking down.

 This sheltering time has been a time of rest for me. I've really tried to prioritize sleeping, nutrition, exercise and quiet time spent with God. Journaling and really giving myself permission to use even this crazy time to be with God has given me a safe space to stop, breathe, reflect and to grieve. I've been allowing myself to share just a little more with a few friends, and be more vulnerable. I've been trying to get back to creating - choreographing a dance for my congregation, finishing up a writing class I started 10 years ago, studying a new language and making a meal for my family. I've loved my time with my family. I have such a different schedule from them. This is the first time since I moved to Orange County that we have spent so much time together outside of the week after my dad passed away. We are cleaning the house, pulling weeds and enjoying our home and time together. My family was so broken, and I am incredibly grateful for the peace, grace and rest we have been receiving during this time.


Water Colors

From Marcia, mother of Patrick: I am giving myself permission to do more with my hands ... crocheting for the granddaughter due in a few days, painting watercolor cards and pictures ... cooking and baking new recipes ... sewing masks for the hospital and health clinic ... and planting seeds to grow on my window sill. I also teach a watercolor class. All of these (well, not the mask making, but definitely sewing) are remnants from a previous life when I was a stay-at-home mom and creativity was the bulk of my day. Although I'm feeling constrained during this necessary time of stay home, stay safe, and I am SO missing my never-a-dull-moment days with teenagers at school. I do now know I was missing something very important.

This enhanced alone time has brought my family together. We hold a weekly family ZOOM every Sunday to laugh, share, and sometimes just watch what the others are making for dinner. I got the idea when recalling the after-church Sunday dinner I always insisted on. Now I see my kids insisting on it with their kids. Some traditions are so time honored and for a reason: they are important.


From Sandra, mother of Joshua: After the Stay at Home order in Houston was put in place, I had all of these grand ideas of meditating, eating healthy, exercising every day and being one with nature. That plan quickly flew out the window. This is what I am doing now during the pandemic. I lay around, watch lots of TV, eat a lot and think way too much. On the up side, I sometimes meditate, sit out in the backyard, read a book and cook delicious food. TAPS video chats and text chats have really helped me. They keep me connected to an awesome support system that gets me through every day. On occasion, I do take a walk and exercise a bit. I have slowed down to a snail's pace and do not have the luxury of my normal everyday activities that enabled me to get out of the house, help me cope with my sadness or distract me from my grief. On the other hand, I have settled into a completely different way of life that allows for a lot of thinking and daydreaming and contemplating about my future life. I am still sad at times and think a lot about the loss of my son and it can be very painful, but I am learning to use other ways to cope with the grief. 


Cross Stitch

From Lydia, mother of Carl: Since my commute to work is a walk across the living room instead of a 30 mile drive, I've been using the extra time in the morning to work on my cross stitch. I've also  been spending the extra time in the evenings making cloth masks for friends. I've given away over two dozen masks.


From Donna, mother of Eric: The first week was rough just trying to wrap my head around sheltering in place. But once I got used to it, I'm fine, more than fine, I'm feeling very accomplished. We are completing all of those projects that should have been done years ago. But I'm most proud of my vegetable garden! I took it from grass, to fertile soil and raised each plant from seed. We're hoping to can or freeze enough of everything to get us through a year. I made a compost pile for next year, built a greenhouse for the winter, built two planter boxes for strawberries and asparagus and made homemade fertilizer for acid-loving plants and another for alkaline plants. Next up is opening the pool and getting flowers going around it. We are lucky that our income hasn't been affected and we have an acre of land to work and play on. I can't imagine those in apartments and trying to entertain kids, but I know most people are making it work. Best wishes to everyone during this uncertain time.


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 online@taps.org and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.

 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

Since the first week of May is teacher appreciation week, I thought I would ask how do you show appreciation to this group who are working hard creating virtual learning experiences for our nation’s children. The question is: What is a memory you would like to share of your favorite teacher? We look forward to your responses.

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. I am always looking for questions and songs for future messages. If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated this week, send it to me and I will make sure it is sent. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing online@taps.org. In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response to me by Tuesday morning. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

 

♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song, "Wild Thing" is from Rebecca, mother of Griffin, who wrote, “When the “Major League” movies came out, they'd play "Wild Thing" when Charlie Sheen came on the mound. I showed my Griff the 45 rpm that I had of the song. My Griff and I watched all three of the Major League movies together. One day when I was coming up the stairs in our home from work...all of a sudden the song came on! Complements of my loved DJ Griff! I will always remember this with Griff.

SPOTIFY: A survivor once suggested we include a song of the week, which has now become a weekly feature. If you have a song that is special to you or reminds you of your loved one, please send it to me at online@taps.org. along with a sentence or two about what makes this song meaningful to you. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a free playlist available to you on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. Once you have filled out your profile, and are on the main page, the playlist is called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Songs of Love and Remembrance. The songs from last week are included on this playlist.

 

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UPCOMING VIDEO AND TEXT CHATS

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Visit the TAPS Online Community Chat Calendar for this week's schedule of text and video chats and other offerings. 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.

 

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 online@taps.org.

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 800-959-8277.