Travis was such an amazing, intelligent and loving person. He had hopes and dreams for his future that were unique from his horrible addiction. He dreamed of being free from his addiction. He dreamed of owning his own construction company and building his own home. He loved the outdoors: he enjoyed taking walks, fishing and camping. The only thing he enjoyed more than the outdoors was getting comfortable on the couch and watching new movies. He loved his children, even though he was not a full time dad like he wanted to be. He still spent time with his kids as much as he could. There are so many things I loved about him! He had this ability to make me smile no matter how upset I was. It was amazing to me that even though he was so immersed in his addiction, he still had the desire to quit. Travis had such a big heart and could forgive people with ease. He made it so easy for me to fall in love with him! You couldn't help but like the guy. He was so full of personality and charm. One minute he could make you fall off your chair laughing and the next minute he could get you in deep thought about religion, politics or life. I never finished high school and Travis encouraged me to get my GED. When I got it, he was so proud of me and he came to my graduation sober and cheered louder than anyone. That's the way Travis was. Even with his severe addiction, he didn't lose his ability to care for others and he wanted me to succeed. When it came down to it, he was always there for me when I needed him. He was a kind and thoughtful man who hated his addiction and how it affected those he loved. I loved him for who he was as a person, which was completely different than who he was as an addict. When I met Travis, he made no effort to lie to me about his addiction. I thought I could deal with it and that it wouldn't cause a problem in our relationship. A big part of me thought I could help him, I could not have been more wrong. When we first met, he calmed down on his pill addiction and he drank a lot to relieve the withdrawals, but then his addiction refused to be subdued and things got out of control. Things started to get worse when his ex girlfriend, the woman he was with for 9 years and the mother of his three children, died with her sister in a car accident. He took it very hard and began using more and more to hide the pain and his regrets. He was an IV drug user and his favorite drugs were OxyContin, morphine, dilaudids and Fentanyl. There were times in our years together that he would seem to be getting better and then he would run into one of his "toxic" so called friends and they would throw it in his face. He wasn't strong enough to say no. He would use and gone were his days clean. Things started to fall apart between us, we would fight and he would stay gone for days on end. I know now that he would stay away because he didn't want me to see him all messed up and because he needed to be around the people who had the drugs. But I didn't see it that way at the time. Either way, his addiction took him away from me and those that loved him dearly. In 2007, things got worse in many ways. His addiction began to take over more and more. In the summer of last year, he ended up in the ICU for pneumonia and had a difficult time recovering from it. Our relationship had come to a point where I felt like I had to give him a reason to quit. I ended the relationship on a few tough love terms: that he stay away from certain people, keep all drugs and needles out of my house and try to get clean. I loved him so much but his addiction was not just hurting him, it was also hurting me. I gave up on my terms and we got back together, but his addiction still plagued our relationship. Although he used every day, I could always tell when his addiction was getting more intense because he would stay with someone else for days or weeks. He would tell me that I deserved better than seeing him all messed up, that he did not want to bring it around me. We still talked every day and I would go see him at least every other day. It made me sad to see this amazing person be owned by these drugs. The last time I saw the man I love was May 9th 2008. I was at Wal-Mart and we talked outside. He told me that he loved me and that he was going to treatment soon. He asked me if I would be with him when he got out, I told him yes. He told me that he would call me tomorrow and asked me for a hug. I looked at him and asked him if he was sober, he said yes. I knew he was lying and I was angry. I didn't give him a hug. Two days later he called me and we talked for an hour about my youngest son's birthday which was a couple days away. He said he was coming to his party. My son Jayson's 5th birthday was Tuesday May 13th, 2008 he never showed up, he didn't call. I was so upset! I couldn't understand why he would miss it. The next morning, a neighbor came over and told me that Travis died the day before, on my son's birthday. They said his lungs filled up with fluid and the EMTs tried to bring him back but couldn't. I didn't believe them. I lost it to say the least. For two months I drank myself to sleep every night, I broke so many things in my house and refused to feel the pain. I felt angry and I suppose anger was easier to feel than heart wrenching pain. I will always wish I could go back to last day I saw him. I would hug him and never let go. I have since allowed myself to feel the pain of losing him and don't drown my feeling with alcohol. I miss Travis every single day. A million times a day I wish he was here. I feel like a piece of me is missing. He was only 29 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. Pulmonary edema is one of the leading causes of death due to prescription drug abuse and overdoses. I miss his smile and the way his eyes lit up when he was happy. I miss his jokes, our long talks about everything under the sun. I miss his laugh and hearing him snore. I miss his hand in mine and I miss the presence of him. I really miss him and I always will. He was and will always be the love of my life.
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