Saturday Morning Message: Finding A Sense Of Accomplishment In The New Year

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Welcome to the first Saturday Morning Message for 2021!

With the beginning of each new year, many of us begin to make plans and set goals and intentions. Although I usually don’t make resolutions, one thing I would like to do in the upcoming year is attend a TAPS seminar. I miss seeing those who are connected to TAPS and especially those of you who read the Saturday Morning Message.

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This year, TAPS will be offering both in-person and virtual seminars.  See our 2021 seminar schedule and register for these events. I hope to see some of you at a TAPS event this year, either in person or on Zoom!

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What are you planning to start or continue to do that will give you a sense of accomplishment in the upcoming year?

From Betty, mother of Brian: I am taking all the pictures of Brian from his birth until the weekend before his death and making a book for each of his sons. They were only 3 and 6 when he died. This book will be computer generated. I also will scan pictures of certificates, awards, and other examples of what he accomplished during his lifetime. This way they can each see all their dad’s interests, like achieving a black belt in Karate and completing 100 scuba dives.

Brian started doing magazine print modeling when he was 10 years old. It was mostly for local stores in Knoxville and East Tennessee. He was the Christmas poster model for a store, Watsons, here in Knoxville one year. These posters were published in newspapers and other advertising venues. He also modeled for the store Goody’s. They did weekly ads and large catalog ads also.

When we moved to Texas, he contracted with another agency and did short video ads for local businesses. That is how he got a job as an extra in the movie, “Frequent Flyer”.

I feel that in this way the boys can learn what an awesome man their dad was.

From Elizabeth, spouse of Joseph: Since I moved to my new apartment a few weeks ago, the only thing on the wall is a kitchen clock. For me, deciding where to hang things and getting someone to do the work would feel like a major accomplishment. Making decisions like that was something my husband always did. I definitely do not have his ability to visualize things.

From Virginia, mother of Patrick: In March, I got another puppy and have been enjoying training her in agility and Barn Hunt along with my older dog Sam.

I was furloughed in April due to COVID-19. By the time they called me back to work in August, I had decided to retire. I turned 68 in August -what was I waiting for?

Retirement has also allowed me to ride my horse more often. I’ve made some new riding buddies and have enjoyed riding with them.

My husband retires in January, so hopefully we can travel! We have been offered the use of a house in Scotland for a week this summer!

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 

For some, wearing their loved ones' precious items brings comfort. What items do you keep close to you?

Elizabeth, spouse of Joseph sent this week’s question. Elizabeth wrote, “Joe’s wedding ring is on a chain on my neck. I use his flannel shirt as a house coat. For several years before Joe died, I started using his tee shirts as summer nightgowns. A man's 2x tall shirt is great for a 5'3" me. I kept three or four shirts, so I'm all set. At some time, Joe bought a replacement for the "boonie hat" he had in Vietnam. I wore it every day on my trip to Israel. It made me feel close to him; and with the strap, it didn't blow off in the breezes. A fatigue shirt is in the closet and my favorite blue plaid shirt of his is there too. The color really brought out the blue of his eyes.”

We look forward to your responses to this question. In order to have your reply considered for the January 16, 2021, edition of the Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning, January 12, 2021 to

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


Song for the Week

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Each week, in this section, we share a song or recipe that is special to a survivor. 

This week a song came from Sharon, mother of Kevin, who wrote, “My favorite song is "The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost" by Craig Morgan. In an interview, Craig said when people ask him when his son died, his answer is, ‘For you it was three years ago, for me it was yesterday.’ It was three years on December 21, 2020, that our son died.”

TAPS Spotify Playlist: A survivor once suggested we include a song of the week, which has now become a biweekly feature. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a free playlist on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. The playlist is called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Songs of Love and Remembrance.

Send Your Favorite Song or Recipe

If you have a favorite recipe or song for this section, please send those to me to and include a note about why the recipe or song is meaningful to you. We publish a special song or recipe in each Saturday Morning Message.


Related Stories

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Article: Vision Board: Creating a Life You Envision

January 12 is National Vision Board Day—as good a day as any to start creating the life you want to see for yourself.


Videos: 2020 Health and Wellness Sessions

Created for the 2020 Virtual National Military Survivor Seminar, these leading experts in self-care share methods of healing for body, mind, and soul.



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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.