Saturday Morning Message: Looking Back on Fond Memories

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Lapis Hearts with Love and Hope inscribed

Good morning,

Connecting with other survivors and sharing stories of our loved ones is one of the best parts of TAPS. With the recent restrictions around COVID-19, we have had to do things differently this year, but we can still do it. The National Seminar went online and there were many survivors attending care groups and workshops. You can find TAPS on Facebook where survivors share memories of their loved ones. And the Saturday Morning Message is always open to you. This week I went into the Saturday Morning Message archives to pick a few special memories from survivors. Thanks to all who participated to make this Memorial weekend special. Sending hope and love your way. 

TAPS has partnered with national experts, international leaders and organizations to focus on global issues impacting everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. The TAPS COVID-19 Resource Page includes information on coping with grief and loss; health and wellness; and tips for parenting and youth during the COVID-19 crisis.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What is a fond memory of your loved one?

From Annette, mother of Joseph: We have been trying to celebrate Joe's life and remember the good times and funny stories of which there are many. Just the other day his sister Lauren and I were laughing and telling the story of when he was about 3 years old. We had an above the ground pool with a deck around it and a ladder that swung up and locked. However, since Joe was such a daredevil and loved the water so much we had him wear a tube which was bright orange and attached to a tank top. We almost never took it off of him except to go to sleep, because we knew if we ever forgot to put up the ladder or turned around for a minute, he would be in that pool. We have pictures of him eating and playing in it. It was a part of him for an entire summer.

From Kim, spouse of Milton: My favorite summer memories with my husband, Milton, are grilling in our backyard with a glass of tea and his (as he called it) best BBQ’ d chicken in the world. He did the chicken and I ended up doing everything else that went with the meal. We would spend time together just talking and enjoying. The quiet times like these are the ones I cherish most.

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: I came home from a long day and went to see what each of my sons were up to. Andrew was busy with homework. Eugene's room was a mess and he was waiting for me to annoy him with regards to homework (high school). I saw small bags on the floor, and they were moving. I asked him about it, and he told me that I was just tired and seeing things. I again asked him, and he gave me the same answer. So I went to step on one of the bags. He got protective of the bag and begged me not to move. In each bag was a baby snake: a python, a boa and a king. I wasn't happy, but what could I do? I sent him out to get tanks and a book about snakes from the library and told him to make sure they lived. He was shocked and quickly went on the errands. They did live many, many years. And I still don't know why I didn't get a “mother of the year” trophy!


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

You have made it through the week as our country honors our loved ones around Memorial Day and also the time of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now you deserve to take some time for yourself. So this week’s question is: What do you do to treat yourself? We look forward to reading your ideas. 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome and can be emailed to  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

Fay, mother of Eric, sent the song for this week. Fay wrote, “I can’t help but smile, laugh and cry all at the same time every time I hear,"Don’t Stop Me Now" by Queen. I just love, love, love listening to it. Eric sang this at a karaoke bar while stationed in Japan. He had quite the chops!” 

You can send your favorite songs 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.


Related Stories

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Memories of Favorite Moments

Sharing special times with those we love can leave a lasting memory. Survivors choose to attend various TAPS events for that reason.

Survivors at National Seminar

More Memories of Favorite Moments

Sharing special times with those we love can leave a lasting memory. Survivors share those memories in this week's message.

Other Items and Events of Interest

Caregiver to Survivor Program banner

TAPS recognizes the urgent need to support families who have lost a military loved one after having been a caregiver. The leading cause of death of our military loved ones is reported by survivors to be illness, but we know there are many survivors that experienced a loss after having cared for a loved one who was traumatically injured or diseased as well. 

At TAPS we understand, and we’re here to support our survivors as they navigate a grief journey that may have begun even before the death of your loved one. And, we are mindful of the differences present when someone has been a caregiver before they have transitioned to a survivor. The Caregiver to Survivor Program was developed with this in mind. 

We invite you to explore our resources and encourage you to reach out for support and take advantage of this exciting new program. 

▶▶  Connect With Other Survivors of Illness Loss

Join with other caregivers who supported their loved one through a devastating illness. Honor and share your loved one, the emotions, issues and challenges facing bereaved caregivers. Regardless of the circumstance or geography of the death, you are welcome in the TAPS Caregiver Support Chat. 

Caregiver to Survivor Chat
Wednesday, May 19
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Eastern
We hope to see you there!

▶▶  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.

Did you lose your loved one due to an illness?

Illness Loss Survey

If your military loved one suffered with a wound, illness, or injury, please consider taking our new Illness Loss Survivor Survey, so TAPS can honor your loved one through our advocacy efforts. 

If you took the survey last year, we ask that you retake it as we've made important updates. Your response could help shape policy and legislation, and direct future TAPS programs and services. To learn more, email

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).