A little glimpse of who Travis was… Travis was a very caring and encouraging personal trainer and lifeguard. He had a cool cat named Toni (aka Crazy Tail) and a red-eared slider (turtle) named Sif (after Thor’s wife – a Marvel character). Travis was very active! He loved playing soccer, ultimate frisbee, and frisbee golf. Other activities he enjoyed were biking, running, hiking, yoga, snowboarding, and working out/weightlifting (especially with his cat Toni). He loved getting involved in events like the Tough Mudder, triathlons, and half marathons. Behind the boat he enjoyed wakeboarding, kneeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing alongside Grace and also together in a tube when she was little. He especially loved doing barrel rolls on the tube and hitting big waves getting slingshotted into the air, 360’s on the kneeboard, and jumping off the boat at high speeds with his friends! Other things he enjoyed were camping and hanging with his friends, going to concerts (one of his last concerts was REO Speedwagon), spending time with family, cooking delicious food (jambalaya being a favorite to make), being funny, and so much more! Travis loved Grace even more than all these things and his love for her truly showed!
Grace and her ‘big handsome brother’ Travis, had a unique bond that is truly hard to put into words. Grace’s name for Travis was, ‘Travis Elvis Chicken Butt Butt Cheeks Presley Schara Scare-ah’ after a children’s book he read to her often and after she got a glimpse of his behind during a stay at Mayo Clinic to remove a schwannoma tumor in his abdomen. Grace would also say, "Travis looks like Elvis in the U.S. Army in Germany and looks like Jesus Christ." Travis’ name for Grace was, ‘Grace Emily Chicken Wing Priscilla Presley Schara.’ For short, Grace would call Travis ‘Chicken Butt Butt Cheeks’ and Travis would call Grace ‘Chicken Wing.’
They had such a bond where you could see the love they shared for each other. Travis would always include Grace in whatever he was up to. When Grace was a toddler, Travis would incorporate her into his weightlifting routine lifting Grace up and down. Grace would always run into his arms for a big hug whenever they’d see each other, and when Grace was younger she’d even jump into his arms with a running start! Travis and Grace loved listening and jamming to music together in his car and from his bedroom stereo! Some favorite songs Travis would sing to her were, "Little Sister" by Elvis Presley and "Free Falling" by Tom Petty:
She’s a good girl, loves her mama
She loves Jesus and America too
She’s a good girl, crazy ‘bout Elvis
She loves horses, and her boyfriend too
Since Travis’ passing to suicide October 9, 2018, Grace had missed him terribly! Right away, Grace got involved in Suicide Awareness Walks for Travis – the Be The Light Walk and the Veteran Suicide Awareness March. She also did the Thanksgiving Festival Foods Turkey Trot in remembrance of Travis, as he always did this one! Soon after Travis’ passing, Grace started seeing hearts from heaven and knew he was ok. She’d leave beautiful hand-colored notes around the house telling us not to cry, as she knew Travis was in heaven with Jesus.
Grace wasn’t shy in sharing her grief. She would include Travis in her schoolwork and write about him any chance she got! All of Grace’s classmates and teachers knew who Travis was, as she included him in everything; for instance, in her writings and art projects! When Grace would see spiders, she’d say it was Travis Spirit as Travis never killed spiders, but instead let every spider have a chance of survival. Grace would do many things in honor of Travis. Two very special things were bellyflops when swimming and always having an extra chair at the dinner table for Travis and Chewy (her Build-A-Bear she made to help comfort her with missing Travis) when out to eat. Grace soon found a love of Star Wars and DC and Marvel characters after losing Travis as he had enjoyed all these things. Travis would do a Chewbacca impression that Grace adored and with a little practice came up with her own as well. She even did her own Chewy Balloon Gram for her nephew Riley’s 8th birthday! She wore her Chewy costume and mask that she’d make come to life and made us all smile! Grace also took Travis’ cat Toni under her wing after he passed and would say she could see Travis Spirit in Toni. Toni would snuggle with Grace, put her paws around her, and even eat with her!
With Grace really missing her big brother Travis, she had asked for a ticket to heaven several years in a row for her birthday. Her wish came true on October 13, 2021. The only thing holding us together most days is the thought of them being with each other and God’s promise of Eternal Life.
We miss you Travis and Grace Emily terribly and can’t wait to be reunited some day!! This next journey in life we must take without you physically here, yet we feel your presence by our side. This walk is unimaginable and unbearable, but we trust God has a bigger plan. We continue picturing you two together in heavenly bliss (as Grace would say) and loving each other. We look forward to the day when we are all happily together again. We love you both forever and always!!! 💜 💜