Saturday Morning Message: May is a Month of Remembrance

Author: TAPS

Good Morning,

You are in our hearts as we step into May. With the whole nation around us contemplating military appreciation this month, we hold close a reverence that comes from personal sacrifice. While we don’t want others to know such sacrifice, we hope to spread awareness of how Americans can truly appreciate those who have served and given their lives to our country. 

Hero Wall at National Seminar

When our loved ones serve, the whole family serves and the TAPS family will pause throughout May to recognize and remember. As the living legacies for our loved ones who have died, we have a sacred duty to carry them with us toward a future that is brighter because they lived - and we only grieve because we love, so may love be what we remember the most.

 

Question for the Week

As we look ahead to May, a month of remembrance, how will you share the love for your military loved one so that together we can remember and show our own reverent military appreciation?

Thank you for your willingness to share your thoughts with all of us in the Saturday Morning Message! As you lean into these questions with courage and transparency, you are growing the foundation of support that is TAPS - and we are so grateful for you.

Much Love, 

TAPS

▶▶  We Welcome Your Reply

In order to have your response included, please send them by by Tuesday morning, May 4, to online@taps.org. The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) was created for survivors to share information with those who have subscribed with each other.

 

Response To Last Week’s Question:

Some changes blindside us, while others are chosen. Some we fight against, while others we embrace. How have you been able to navigate the changes in your life?

From Teresa, mother of James: When I was blindsided by the soldiers at my door telling me of the sudden death of my son, my only child, in Afghanistan in 2009, my world turned upside down. There were so many changes, and also much work which had to be done in a short period of time. Besides the enormous load of sadness and the services, there was still my job; managing my home and his home half-way across the country, along with my bills and his; our family, friends, and a great amount of strangers (his military friends), who soon became friends; plus, setting up the finances for his children. I had never dealt with such finances before. 

My husband was changing drastically too; although I didn't know why, I knew something was wrong and I had to deal with him. No, I didn't get to stay in bed and cry. I had trouble sleeping. When I did sleep, I woke screaming with nightmares. I was so tired during the day that I couldn't focus and it created some problems at work. My employers were understanding.

My grandparents and parents lived through the Great Depression and WWII. The War cost my mother the loss of her first husband one month after the birth of their daughter. She was a Gold Star Wife with a Gold Star Daughter, but there was no support. 

Meanwhile, my still single father lost his leg by stepping on a bomb. They met 18 months later and married.

What wonderful daily examples my parents were of navigating hardship, changes, and survival! Each day, watching my father putting on his wooden leg to go to work was a lesson in navigation: get up, no excuses, no complaining, put one foot on the floor and strap on the other leg, get up, kiss your wife and children and go to work. Then, come home, kiss your wife and children, say your prayers, have dinner, take off the wooden leg because it hurt so badly and caused blisters, spend time with your family, and watch TV or help with homework. Sometimes, he would even wake in the night screaming and vomiting, waking us up with the sound. The next day, though, he would wake up, without discussion of what had occurred overnight, and repeat his daily routine.

Pray, endure, function, love, and have faith to go on; that is how we navigate the changes and the tragedies in our lives.  

I had no idea after my son's death how many more tragedies and changes were going to occur in the next few years of my life. Wasn't that enough? I have continued, though, to follow my parents' example. And, I am proud to say today, I AM a survivor. 

 

▶▶  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 online@taps.org and your thoughts will be passed along to each contributor. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. 

▶▶  Send Your Favorite Song, Poem or Recipe

Each week, we publish a song, poem, or recipe that has special meaning for our survivors. If you have a favorite that you would like to share with the Saturday Morning Message community, please send it to online@taps.org and include a note about why it is meaningful to you. These beautiful points of connection can offer hope and inspiration to others. 

 


Other Items and Events of Interest
 

Survivors at TAPS Together

Is TAPS in my community? The simple answer is yes!

TAPS Togethers are one-day, organized, social events across the country, led by TAPS Staff or a survivor like you, with the goal of expanding our peer support community. Powerful experiences, meaningful conversations, and growing in relationship with other military survivors encourages hope and healing. We draw both strength and inspiration from coming together.

If you have a great idea for a TAPS Together in your community OR you would like to host a TAPS Together, we would love to hear from you! Share your ideas and to sign up to host a TAPS Together event in your community.

▶▶  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).