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.

Beach sunset

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

women with art work

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.


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).