But when you loose people that are dear to you, and are first-hand witness to the aftermath, it doesn't make anything feel any easier or better. On Tuesday, Governor Schwarzenegger issued the following statement:
"The deaths of Lieutenant Colonel Mario Carazo and Major James Weis are tragic losses for this country. They devoted themselves to serving our nation with honor and integrity, and their selfless sacrifices will never be forgotten. On behalf of all Californians, Maria and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of these brave Marines."
Carazo, 41, and Weis, 37, died July 22 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. They were assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In honor of Lt. Col. Carazo and Maj. Weis, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
To say that triathlon, or my lack of racing has been at the back of my mind, would be a HUGE understatement. True, this is the life that Nathaniel and I lead - and while we understand that there are risks associated with his profession, it doesn't make it any easier. I've seen things that I never - not in a million years - thought I would see first hand. And as hard as this is for me and all of my military friends out here, I know that what we are enduring is nothing compared to the families of Wiesel and Sugar Bear.
After five days of grief and pain, I told Nathaniel I was going for a run. He raised his eyebrows but didn't stop me. Clearly, he didn't think a wayward clot would finish me off. So... I made my escape and ran.
Along the way I:
-Greeted the lady watering her flowers and commented about how beautiful they looked.
-Waited for old people to walk first and THEN run around them. I wasn't in a hurry.
-Stopped to look at the ocean, the surfers, riding the waves, and marvled at the fact that - in spite of the Totally Shitty Time right now - the waves will continue to tickle the sand, the sun will continue to rise and set.
-Looked longingly at the people drinking and laughing at one of the pubs in Carlsbad. Not only because they were drinking (what I wouldn't do for a Salty Margarita right about now) - but because they were laughing and having fun....carefree and oblivious to the Totally Shitty Time that I, and other people affiliated with this situation are dealing with.
-Deliberately left my watch at home and just ran by feel. It felt great.
-I smiled at people and made eye contact, in stead of inwardly focusing on the specific point of my run.
-I stopped and smelled the roses....one house had a BEAUTIFUL rose bush. So I stopped. And smelled it - perfect.
-I did NOT run through the yellow light and instead waited a few minutes for the next green.
-And finally, even though it was my first run in four weeks since the Pulminary Embolism, I was happy to be running, and grateful for all the friends and family support. I don't talk a lot about Nathaniel's military "stuff" (for lack of a better word) on my blog, mainly because this is about triathlon, training, and my own creative outlet.
But if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Hug your loved ones, tell your friends that you love them - because you just never know what life will bring. And always always always, stop and smell the roses.