After we got our packets my friend and I checked into our hotel. We headed out to the Melting Pot for dinner and practically had to be rolled out due to the amount of food consumed. Saturday morning we were up by 5:30 AM for the race. There were tornado warnings and heavy wind and rain was due to hit around 8:00. At mile 11 the policemen told us to evacuate. There was no way in hell I was quitting at 2 miles out. We toughed it out in the pouring rain and finished it. I mainly walked the race and ran some. My lungs were hurting due to the bronchitis and URI I had a week before. We dare not complained because we were able bodied and our husbands were not.
Sunday morning I got up had a quick brunch with my Dad and sister and started the drive to Alabama. I got in around 6:00 P.M. and had a cookout with all of Karie and Cleve's friend. I will tell you first hand that Karie handled everything like the strong woman that I always knew she was. We headed out to a bar after the cookout and hit the beach afterwards. Karie let a little bit of the sadness flow out and she had an amazing group of friends standing by to hold her as she let the tears flow. I am glad she let a little bit of the grieving process start, you can't be strong forever.
Monday morning was a day that we all dreaded. Most of us didn't get any sleep. Karie looked beautiful in her green chucks that she wore for Cleve. She was standing tall and strong like she always does. Her friend and I took care of some logistical stuff that needed to happen in the morning and gave Karie some time to be alone with Cleve. When we arrived she was still being so strong. The funeral was heartbreaking. I felt at a loss on what to say and most of the time I felt I wasn't helping at all. I never met Cleve but felt as if knew him. I knew Karie was hurting and in turn it made my heart hurt. It makes me angry when he has been through so much and then this happens, this is how it ends. Sometimes it is really hard not to question God when things like this happen. I prayed all day for her and I knew Cleve and God were watching over her.
After two deployments that Bryan has been through and being a Military Girlfriend/Wife for 7 years I have narrowly Taps. When I heard it a chill shot up my arm and to see that flag being folded and handed over my heart felt as if it were ripped out for my friend. Seeing her holding it so close to her made me want to scream "This isn't fair!" It is over now and he was honored by family, friends, and the Military. Now the grieving process begins and I hope that in all of this some peace comes to Karie and Cleve's family. RIP CPL Jimmy Kinsey.