Saturday Morning Message: Knacks That Our Loved Ones Had

Author: Carol Lane

turkey pin

Good Morning,

This week’s opening picture is a turkey pin a friend made for me. She really has a knack for making cute jewelry and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it seemed perfect. I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Sharing some of the knacks our loved ones had gives us a unique picture into who they were. When we meet each other at a TAPS event, we spend a lot of time talking about our loved ones’ lives. This week’s responders did exactly that by sharing about some of the specialties their loved ones had. I hope you enjoy this week’s message.

Important Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we will not be sending out a Saturday Morning Message on Saturday, November 28. We look forward to reconnecting with you on Saturday, December 5. 

We wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. TAPS will be available 24/7 throughout the holiday weekend, if you need us at 202.588.(TAPS) 8277.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What is a knack your loved one had?

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: My son was very good with computers. He could build them and write programs. We were in the process of developing a video game when he died.

From Elizabeth, spouse of Joseph: My Joe had the great combo of being an excellent host and cook. Our New Year's Eve parties were fabulous, but I enjoyed the huge 4th of July cookouts even more. Joe cooked for spaghetti suppers and parish festivals. He even insisted on cooking for his own retirement party. I never understood that one. He was at his best feeding hordes of people, especially our daughters' friends.

From Meredith, mother of Austin: My son Austin's knack was that he could go into a room on maybe one of the saddest days and turn frowns into smiles. He just had a way of making people who may be struggling with something feel better and bring a smile to their face. So many of our family and friends reflect on times when Austin made things so much better. We lost him on April 5, 2018, and I still hear from people almost every day about his knack for making them feel better.

From Sandra, mother of Joshua: My son had a knack for gift giving and would search high and low for unique gifts to fit each one of our personalities. Josh used to buy me Bath and Body Works gift cards, because I loved them, but he also bought me New Orleans Saints gear, handcrafted shells and tiny bottles from Hawaii, chocolates and teas and Marine attire. He once sent his daddy an ammunition case filled with a stainless steel fork and spoon, a flashlight pen, snacks and bought him lots of Houston Texans gear. Joshua bought his brother, Jordan, a green cloth Marine wallet around 19 years ago at boot camp. Throughout the years, he sent Jordan a Harry Potter robe, a pocket watch and a Game of Thrones glass goblet. These are just a few examples of the gifts given to us on birthdays and holidays.

Josh saw birthdays and holidays as opportunities to show us how much he loved us and to make us extremely happy. We value those gifts and they have become our treasures. He always sent his girls lots of toys that would cause them to squeal with delight. My husband still wears the Houston Texans hat almost every day and Jordan still uses his green Marine wallet. I value the last gift that Josh bought me. It is a card with a Christian necklace with a photo enclosed of Josh and I at a rugby game and a note written with love.

If you would like to send a note commenting on one or all of the responses in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to and your thoughts will be passed along to each contributor. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

The December holidays are very close. With the stress related to this year’s COVID-19 restrictions on top of coping with our grief journey, we can gather ideas from others on how to handle the holiday season, so this question is: What are your strategies for coping with the holiday season? I look forward to hearing from you.

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 next edition on Saturday, December 5, it is best to send your response by the morning of Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Thank you to everyone responding this week and to those who read this message.


Song for the Week


notes icon

Debbie, spouse of Thomas sent the song for this week which is: "If You Came Back from Heaven" by Lorrie Morgan. It is extremely touching and I know we will identify with the words.

Next Edition on December 5, 2020: We will feature a recipe from a survivor and why it has a special meaning. 

If you have a favorite recipe or song for this section, please send it to me at


Related Stories

holiday gift

Article: The Holidays Are Here Again

For survivors who have experienced the death of a loved one, the shadow of grief often darkens the weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

winter scene

VIDEO: The Power of Perspective - Choosing Gratitude

This video recording explores the importance of gratitude and methods to incorporate it within our daily lives.


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).