Saturday Morning Message: Knacks That Our Loved Ones Had

Author: Carol Lane

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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


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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

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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.

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VIDEO: The Power of Perspective - Choosing Gratitude

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



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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.

Webinar: Mindfulness as Your Superpower

On Thursday, January 28 at 12 p.m. Eastern, the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® will present a free webinar, "Mindfulness as Your Superpower."

Mindfulness isn’t just for naturally calm people. It is a superpower that can help us cope with the most challenging emotions—even grief. Using superhero case examples, during this workshop, you will learn how mindfulness can help you navigate loss, improve your health, and cultivate much-needed compassion for your grieving heart. 

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.