Thursday, July 29, 2010

Smelling the Roses

You know those days - where you feel like you're in a complete time warp? And Monday becomes Thursday which turns back to Tuesday and the weekend feels like a Wednesday and it's just NOT good all around? Story of my life lately, story of my life.

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.

21 comments:

Angela and David said...

So sorry you guys are going through this and for the families of those two brave men. I was reading the story in the Washington Post and had no idea that you guys knew them.

Glad you were able to find some peace and solace on your run. You deserve it (and probably really needed it).

Teresa said...

Your post has come at a perfect time, when things are rough. I am sad for the losses, but glad that it has reminded us of what is truly important. thanks for sharing and reminding!

tn

ADC said...

Ugh, what can I say. Nothing, absolutely nothing. You know it already.

cherelli said...

Thanks Marit. Perfect words. I'm really sorry for the loss of your friends and I hope their families are coping too. But, stopping to smell the roses....yes....

So glad you had an "escapist run" to help you deal with it and pass on such thoughts to people like me who don't express ourselves so well!

Red Rock Chica @ Red Rock World said...

Well said!!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Well said, and OH SO TRUE Marit! Thinking of you all!!! :)

GoBigGreen said...

Teresa is right. lots to be thankful for and you remind me of that with your emails and your blog. Thinking of you and the Housemonsters:) ( and oh yea, those cankles, gotta be gone now, dont they???!!!) comic relief helps:)

Beth said...

Thinking of you guys. Sorry it's such a bad time for you. The roses and (I'm sure) the run are beautiful!

Kim Schafer said...

I'm thinking of you in this difficult time. I will say that your post, and last week's as well, brought a bit of a new perspective for me. Sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down in the daily activities and stopping to smell the roses is just what one needs. :) Thank you for the reminder.

MaineSport said...

A friend of mine was nearly killed while riding his bike recently- I saw his three days after the hospital and three days before the accident. Severe damage all over, including his spine. He hopes to walk by September. It makes a couple of PEs seem pretty minor.
I'm glad you went for a run. I felt EXACTLY the same way.
Oh, and my understanding is that a bit of achohol is fine.

All the best...

Trigirlpink said...

Hey Ms Marit

Glad to hear you are out getting some exercise. I just read somewhere that this month was one of or even the deadliest in Afghanistan. It it so sad. I'm sending you happy thoughts and hugs during this downer of a time.

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I think it is also important to remind others what the military sacrifices to keep them safe. Thanks for posting this. ;)

hugs. Glad your run went well.

Ange said...

I'm so sorry for your losses Marit. Thank for the reminder to stop and smell the roses. It is so so important.
thinking of you..

Kim said...

Hugs going out to you and Nate Marit.. tough times but I know you will both make it through. One day at a time and just stop to enjoy the little things like you are doing.. smile and pet those kitties for me. That always helps ;) Love ya chica...Kim

Mary said...

TOY!

Beautiful kind of run, the best!

Herrad said...

Hi Marit,
Sending you a big hug.
Love,
Herrad

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