One of the Angels that got us to Hawaii

I remember like it was yesterday. I had just gotten out of the shower. I was in my robe, my wet hair piled on top of my head in a towel turban. It was a week day, Cameron was napping.

In came my husband from work. That was odd, why was he back at home at 9:30 a.m.? The look on his face is permanently ingrained in my memory.  He had tears in his yes and the look of panic on his face. And he said…

“Travis is gone. He’s gone. He’s dead. He was in an accident”

I said in my head, “no, no no” and then out loud, “WHAT?! NOOOOOOOO!”

I hurried and got dressed as Greg talked on his phone to friends. I immediately called my big brother for help. We needed him.

Travis, second from the right

Travis was Greg’s best friend. He was in our wedding. He was my friend and my favorite friend of Greg’s. I met Travis in 9th grade of high school. Over the years he and Greg became very close. They lived together at different times. They traveled together. Got into trouble together. Travis was our Dupre.

He would bring all of his girlfriends for us to meet and approve or disapprove. He especially cared for my approval, as he saw it, I was going to have like her, since we’d be raising our kids together should she be “the one.”  The last time we saw Travis he had brought this new girlfriend down.  We went for sushi, the four of us. He was nervous, she was nervous. This was “the one” and Travis wanted us to like her. We did. He had found his bride-to-be.

Travis would always drive down to our house in San Diego from Simi Valley.  He’d arrive at god awful late hours, talk our ear off then we’d all grab breakfast the next day. Those long nights of staying up talking were some of my absolute favorite memories of my 20s.

Travis wasn’t a perfect kid.  He entered the Marines right out of high school and then did his best to get kicked out. He succeeded. He suffered Teen Depression. He was a dreamer, always coming up with new theories about life, love and gold…he told us how gold would be the thing to invest in rather than the stock market. The kid was right. He didn’t live to see it but by golly he was right.

I loved Travis. More importantly my husband loved Travis. Like the bother my only-child husband never had,  Travis was his one true best friend.

That day that we learned Travis’ car had hit the pole that lined his off-ramp coming home from work, our world fell. Our innocence was lost. We grew up.

My brother came down from Orange County and spent the day with us.  I had never lost a friend before, nor held my husband as he mourned the loss of one of his soul mates. Thank god we had my brother. To add laughter, a hand, a shoulder, and a rock for both of us as we struggled to come together over this loss but also mourn separately.

After Travis’ death my husband was depressed, as one would be. He couldn’t sleep, he didn’t communicate. He was pretty devastated. He still worked, surfed, fished but everything he did was a bit dimmer. It was tough. Really really tough. On us both.

I wrote a quick post when I first started my blog of how we moved to Hawaii. But I have to share, it didn’t really start then.  The day Travis died, the months of grieving, asking why and trying to make sense of it all, the depression we got through and sleepless nights we fought over, they were the huge boulder that pushed us to make our dreams a reality.

In Travis’ passing we lost so much. It was an end to an era for us. But it was also a new beginning. A new story with an angel guiding us and telling us to live for today. To go for it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t share the story of Travis.  He is a huge part of why our life is what it is. He will forever and always be.


  1. Sarah, so heartbreaking and yet inspirational. I know Travis would be so proud of your family. Those we love live on through our memories, stories, and actions.

  2. First off, I’m so sorry for your loss Sarah. I too have lost people I love dearly and it does change how we view, and often how we live our lives. I applaud you for making the decision to dive in and pursue your dreams, it’s so easy sometimes to just want to stay put and wallow in self pity. I know, because I did it for a number of years. We ask why to questions that won’t ever be answered, not on this earth anyway. But when we take a step back and try to see what we are supposed to learn from the experience, sometimes we can be encouraged to persevere and move forward. I always try to think to myself, would my mom want me to be depressed and sad all the time, or would she want me to move forward and be a great mom to my kids and pursue my dreams? If I’ve learned anything it’s that life is short, and we are not promised tomorrow so we need to enjoy, cherish, and make the most of what we have today. What better place to do it than in Hawaii, I’m so jealous! :) I plan on getting there eventually, hopefully for my twenty year anniversary. Anyway, sorry for the rambling, (it comes naturally, I’m Italian.)
    Great post and many well wishes for you and your family, enjoy your paradise!

  3. im glad you had someone that inspired you to take your dreams though.

    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Small Talk Six: Puppy Love =-.

  4. Hey Sarah, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I think it was an amazing decision to make the move because so many people end up getting to their 50’s and 60’s before realizing they haven’t lived the life they wanted. Good for you guys, living YOUR dream and loving life. It’s just too short

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