A very special person named Jacob Robaugh left us about a year ago. This is a tough, confusing topic to write about.. so please bear with me. I'm typing this straight from the heart with little to no editing.
Jake was my first friend. When I say friend, I mean it in it's purist form. Sure, I had friends that I had become friends with because our parents knew each other or because they were in my Girl Scout troop, but Jake... we became friends because we actually had things in common and because we liked each other as people, in general.
I have several vague memories of Jake in grade school. We were both a little different.. yeah, even at that young of an age. So naturally, he stood out to me. I remember in perhaps fourth grade or so, he had longer hair in the front (much like in the photo above) and had it spiked up into two big, spiky point horn looking things.
Around this time I also remember him carrying stacks full of Pokemon card in his pockets and getting in trouble for it. He was theeee coolest to me.
I don't think we actually became friends until about sixth grade. I would have been eleven or twelve. I believe we were in the same classroom.
Like I said, we were both a little different. This was an ongoing joke throughout the years after.. he always brought up this crazy outfit I wore in sixth grade... It was a yellow skirt, with red-ish, maroon tights, and black leather boots. He always brought that up and it always made me laugh. I don't think anyone else will remember that or find as amusing as we both did. No one.....
This was also all about the time I first got the internet so I remember finally getting instant messaging and talking to him through that. We talked a lot, all night, on MSN the summer after sixth grade.
He asked me to be his girlfriend over the internet. Kind of silly, but technically, he was my first boyfriend, even though we never did hang out that summer or anything.
Whenever we went to seventh grade... junior high, we lost touch a little bit.
We became very good friends again when I was.. in eighth grade, I'd say. I think that's right because Laura would have been a senior in high school at the time.
Laura started dating Jordan, who was from Ohio. Laura and Jordan took turns on the weekends visiting each other. This is how Jake and Jordan met.
I think Jake really looked up to Jordan. He was into really cool metal/goth/industrial music and dressed really different with long, black hair.. you get the picture, I hope. So whenever Jordan would come to Pennsylvania, it seemed like Jake would spend the weekends, as well.
So I got to see him a good bit at this time.
None of us drove so I remember my mother driving to go pick up Jake or take him on home the weekends in the winter time when the roads were really, really snow covered and bad.
Jordan played guitar and Jake wanted to learn. I remember how frustrated and determined Jake was to learn to play. He would try over and over and over again to play the beginning of this Marilyn Manson song. Well, I guess he finally figured that all out because he turned out to be a fine musician and played in several bands and jammed with everybody.
Throughout the years, we remained friends and we became friends with all the same people so he was someone I saw regularly at friends houses, shows, parties, or anything like that.
I truly don't think I have a negative memory involving Jake. He was the sweetest, kindest person I knew. I'm not just saying that, I mean it.
We kind of drifted apart throughout the years, becoming friends with different groups of people from different areas. Nothing uncommon but he still did keep in touch.
I often got an instant message from him any time I was online. This was like 10 years later after the fact of first talking on MSN. 10 years.. can you believe that?
I did attend several parties at his house. The Halloween parties stand out in my mind because I knew he loved Halloween as well. Actually, field parties in general remind me of him.
He also lent me and my family a helping hand a whole lot with cars around this time. That's another thing he was very good at. He always knew what he was doing when it came to working on cars.
And how nice of him to go out of his way to help not just me, but my dad.. work on my car? Such a good kid.
So basically, the memories.. I could go on and on about. I hold them very near and dear to my heart now. I can't help but feel a little choked up when I think about 'em, too. It's crazy how much he comes to mind, too. Hardly a morning or a lonely car ride ever happens without my mind wandering in his direction.
He's just such a perfect example of a positive, kind hearted soul. You really don't know how rare these kind of people are.
It's not just me either. He has clearly touched many peoples lives. I read every ones memories and thoughts on his memorial page.
There's something so heartbreaking about the whole thing that seems to be giving everyone a hard time. The unfairness of it all, I guess, but just knowing that it's part of God's plan and it's something totally out of our control.
It's just something we all have to.. well, I don't want to say come to terms with it because I don't think it's something I've come to terms with yet.. but we have to accept it and make the most of it.
We can learn from some one like him and we can see the importance and benefits of sharing our memories and feelings and together let Jake still live on through us all..
Like I said, it's still something I can hardly wrap my head around. When it happened, it seemed so surreal. It opened my mind to so many thoughts and questions.....
Not that I ever felt like I was invincible as they say young people do, but you really don't ever consider these kinds of things happening until they do.. then it's a total shock.
I can still recall the funeral like it was yesterday. The images are burned in my head. It effected me pretty deeply. I had a hard time holding myself together. Jake's funeral was just not somewhere I had ever in a million years pictured myself being at...
There were just so many people and so much sadness. It made me wonder.. what if? What if it were me? Had I had such an impact on every one like he did? How would it affect the people close to me? What would people remember about me?
Jake's wonderful legacy makes me want to work harder to be a better person.. to accept everyone around me.. Never to shrug people off and to offer and willingly help people who need it.. To treat others the way I'd want to be treated.. To generally cherish those around me.. Our time together.. Let them know how important they are to me.. Because you never know..
This is something that has weighed hugely on my mind lately and it's also been one of the biggest stepping stones forward to my journey to acquiring a positive outlook on life.
It really made me step back and look at my life in a much bigger perspective than I had ever done before.
I have been to funeral before and I have lost family before but I suppose I was too young to understand. I remember being at my grandfather's funeral and seeing my own father cry and knowing that it was something very sad and something very serious but something I could feel but could not at all comprehend at the time.
I feel for his family very deeply. It also made me think about how important family is. How unlike anything else family is... That support, closeness, and love in your family. I can't imagine when it comes down to it how Jake's parents and his siblings can ever move forward and even function as a family... Each member of my family seems so very important and I can't imagine how the structure of things would change with such a large, important piece missing... but they are strong people and I'm sure they also realize how important family is and how much they need each other.. especially at this point in time. They have all the little memories, details and silly little snippets and quirks of Jake's life that most of us probably don't even know about that only family would understand.. and I'm sure as much as they remember and a look back on these things and have the hardest, heartbreaking of days.. these same things probably will always bring smiles to their faces and encourage them to keep going..
I will forever miss his goofy laugh and his boney hugs just as much as everyone else... I will do everything in my power to hold on to these memories and to share them.. and as much as this is a tragedy, let it effect me positively and better myself from it.
I guess that I am just very blessed to have had the chance to know Jake and to call him a friend. That is something I will always have to be proud about even on the lousiest of days I am having.
Jake.. I love you, my friend. We all miss you. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything....