Saturday Morning Message: Remembering Our Favorite Vacation Spots

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

I had never traveled to Washington, D.C. until my son, Bryon, was stationed there. He invited my husband and I down to see him and gave us a tour. I was fascinated.

After Bryon’s passing, I learned that TAPS hosts a seminar in Washington, D.C., each year over Memorial Day Weekend, so I decided to attend. When my plane arrived, I was a bit nervous since it was the first time I had been back to the District of Columbia; but when I walked through the door, someone was there to give me a big hug and welcomed me to the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.

Ladies embrace at Survivor Seminar

No matter where life takes you or where you are on your grief journey - whether at a TAPS event, calling into our Helpline or participating in one of our online Care Groups or chats - always know that TAPS will be there to greet you with a warm supportive hug.

This week, survivors have shared stories about the favorite places they vacationed with their loved ones. I hope you enjoy this week's Saturday Morning Message.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

Where was your favorite place that you ever vacationed with your loved one?

From Jen, mother of Braydon: When our son, Braydon, received orders to be stationed in Korea, he was bummed out that he wouldn't be in the U.S. for the remainder of his commitment to our country. My husband and I decided we would go visit him to break up the long assignment. We also invited my parents (my son and father were very close and shared the military bond only they understood).

We spent two weeks in Korea and Japan. The memories and great times we had having our son be our personal guide were perfect. It turned out that this trip was the last trip my father was able to go on due to a traumatic brain injury he sustained a few months later, ultimately causing his death. Not only was the time we spent with our son amazing, but Korea and Japan were beautiful and our memories are priceless. Braydon will be forever 28.

From Nikki, sister of Chad: Vacations haven't changed for me since we didn't really have many vacations growing up. My vacations are usually spent doing things that we didn't get to do growing up. I now have the chance to experience them for both of us or to visit Arlington where he is buried. I just want to be sure to live my life to the fullest to honor Chad’s life.

From Robert, father of John:  In or around 2003 John had R & R on the Big Island of Hawaii and he invited us to come over and vacation with him and his wife. We accepted.

While on the Big Island, we were visiting The Volcano House which was built next to a huge cauldron of lava. After seeing the displays, we went inside to look at the cauldron and while there a voice came from behind us and said "Bob, What are you doing here?" I turned and saw a retired teacher from the school I was at and said to her "Mrs. North, how are you?"

John looked at me and said, "My God, do you know everyone?" Kind of made my day when I told him " See why you guys couldn't get away with anything!"


We Welcome Your Comments

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 

What have you identified about yourself on your grief journey? 

Since the loss of our loved ones, we may have discovered hidden talents or skills, developed new interests or have a changed sense of perspective. It will be interesting to share what we have learned about ourselves along our grief journey.


We Welcome Your Questions 

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 sent to In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning.


Song for the Week

notes icon

This week’s song is “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin was sent by Lydia, mother of Carl. She wrote, “ When Carl was taking classes at the University of Nebraska Omaha, he appeared in ‘The Threepenny Opera’ as part of the pit orchestra. The director had all of the pit musicians costumed, so they could appear on stage as part of the production and gave each of them minor speaking singing parts as appropriate.” The original version of 'Mack the Knife' was written for and featured in the 'The Threepenny Opera' (1928).


Send Your Favorite Song or Recipe

Each week, we publish recipes or songs that have special meaning for our subscribers. If you have a favorite recipe or song for this section, please send it to and include a note about why it is meaningful to you.


Related Stories

TAPS surviving dads

Article: Vacations, Who Needs ‘Em?

Whether you are just starting out on your grief journey or are years past the date of the death, attending TAPS events may be just what you need this year.


Video: Grief River - A Nature-Inspired Map for Understanding Grief and Loss

This video recording discussion looks at how to navigate our way through the waves of grief with the agility of a seasoned kayaker.


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).