Around February 2005, Travis started to show symptoms of what we now know were probably early stages of Schizophrenia possibly with Bi-Polar tendencies as well.
He moved into his own apartment on Memorial Day of 2005, and that is when we really started seeing some symptoms that were very alarming and when we started doing research to see what illness it might fit. We were directed by his Uncle David to the Schizophrenia.com website, where we found a wealth of information. We had lab work done the summer of 2005, and it all came back normal, even though his personality had changed drastically, he wouldn't let us proceed with any further medical help.
At times his symptoms seemed to start to decrease, and in September he moved in with his brothers, Brandon & Jared & two other roommates.
The boys kept him involved - when he would want to withdraw, and someone was with him most of the time. He slept very little and his concentration had begun to deteriorate. In the Spring of 2005 he dropped out of Butte College - he enrolled again in the Fall semester, but only attended a few classes - his concentration and learning ability/focus were very limited & he was always tired - by Christmas time we were very worried and were constantly trying to find ways to get him to the doctor to have more tests run, and see if we could get a professional opinion and possibly medication.
In January 2006, he called and said he needed the week off or a few days at least, to rest his mind and body, he had told us that he was not able to remember things and had had a headache for a couple of months. We took the opportunity to take him to the doctor - God was opening doors for us to get him help we believed - we got an MRI right away, then he became resistant to any further treatment and told us God had told him to move to Minnesota (it was 10 degrees below zero there at the time).
We all tried to talk him out of going and wait until spring or summer, but were unsuccessful, so all we had left was to give him confidence & love, a new set of studded tires (provided by his Uncle Jim) and help him pack up everything he owned and after he received the MRI results, which didn't reveal anything abnormal, he took off for Minnesota on February 2, 2006.
The next 5 1/2 weeks were torture, because he never called us, but we were able to track where he was through his Bank Account & Credit Card & just roaming charges that told us he was checking his messages on his cell phone.
God gave us a picture every Friday as to where he was, and that he was alive and ok. We constantly had the Road Atlas out to see where he had been the previous week as his charges came through.
We were so happy and excited when he called us on Saturday Morning, March 11, 2006. The main reason for his call was to get help transferring money from his savings at an out of town Credit Union to his checking account in Chico - we were blessed to have a nice conversation with him and Randy did again on Tuesday Night, March 14, and we both got to tell him he was missed and loved very much one last time. He told us he loved us, that he was looking for a job, and a place to live – he had decided on place City Fargo, State North Dakota – and that the trip had not been very enjoyable, and he didn’t really have any adventures to share with us. When we asked if he had anything he wanted us to tell everyone who had been asking about him and missing him, he said “Just tell them Hi”. We had asked him to think about coming home, Randy had offered to fly out to drive home with him. He said he’d let us know. We also asked him again to get medical help, because he said he was very tired, and just needed to rest his mind and body. He said he’d think about it.
It's kind of a long story the week before he died, but to make it short, he had been staring up into the sky at nighttime for about a week - Then he, for some reason, decided to end his life on Saturday the 18th of March at 3:14PM in a snowy field in place City Cass County, State North Dakota.
It has been such a shock to everyone who knew and loved him – we did not even have any clue this would happen, but we did know something had gone terribly wrong over such a short period of time. We know God was in the midst of all this – that Travis loved God, and his family and that God was watching over him, and hearing our prayers - there is no question in our minds about that - his hand was evident through his journey to Minnesota, and especially the last week (as we fit the pieces together), so we have to believe he must have had permission from his Creator to end his life - it's all such a nightmare and so painful. He must have been experiencing a great amount of pain and been very ill to make the decision he did. One day we will have an answer, but for now we just continue to miss him and try to understand.