“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains.”
It all started with fries.
Throughout my high school years, up until now as I am finishing my junior year, I had always heard of Jacob Trulock. This year I finally got the opportunity to meet him. During lunch, my class is a production period for The Blotter. Jacob and some of his other friends routinely stopped by often to our classroom and would give us candy. For fifteen minutes every day, as we ate candy, Jacob Trulock, the rest of the group of friends, and our small class would converse our daily lives with each other.
On one of those days, Jacob asked if he could have fries in exchange for a piece of candy. Since I am one to never turn down candy-ever, I readily accepted his proposition and was more than willing to trade a couple of fries for a Jolly Rancher. After he ate his fries, he introduced himself to me and the rest is too long of a story to tell. However, I will tell this: I cannot eat fries without thinking of Jacob. Eating fries reminds me of how nice he always was, the advice he gave me concerning school and my life, he what a legacy he left us to keep alive.
I wanted to dedicate this “Emily’s Eight” to Jacob Trulock. Here are eight ways our community has remembered Jacob. Hopefully it will also convey the beauty in what one life accomplished in just 18 years.
- Jacob Trulock t-shirts
“There’s so much good in the world, and I only wish to be a part of it.”- Jacob Trulock via Twitter,
“He really was,” senior and close friend Morgan Waters said. “I just felt that there was no better way of summing Jacob up than his tweet.”
Morgan Waters has collected 323 orders of orange shirts with Jacob’s tweet on the back of it, and is continuing to sale the shirts until Friday, April 14.
“I figured by having people wear something that symbolized him, it would keep him alive,” Waters said. “Buying a t-shirt and wearing it gives equal opportunity to participate in Jacob’s memory. I’m just trying to do my part in keeping him alive.”
- Mini cupcake memorial – Room B221
Ms. Janet Hollingsworth, an upper-level math teacher at NAHS, had Jacob as a student for two years. In those two years she had the opportunity to form a family-like bond with him and the rest of her Calculus II class.
“We were a very close class, it was like family in there,” Ms. Hollingworth said. “There was only eight of us in there so when we lost Jacob, his empty seat was going to be very obvious, and I didn’t just want to leave it empty, it didn’t feel right.”
So Ms. Hollingsworth made her own mini-memorial on Jacob’s old desk.
“I picked up the flowers with the most orange in them, and I put it on the desk with the orange wrapping,” Ms. Hollingsworth said. “I also put a cupcake on the desk.”
Two years ago Ms. Donna Trulock-Jones, Jacob’s mother, called Ms. Hollingsworth over and told her to call Jacob “Cupcake” if she ever wanted to embarrass him.
“It was her little nickname for him,” Ms. Hollingsworth said. “One day I called him out and said, ‘Cupcake, hey what is the answer to this?’. Everyone laughed and giggled, but he just smiled and didn’t get embarrassed and said, ‘I know who told you that!’. He just smiled from ear to ear and was not embarrassed because he loved his mom so much.”
Jacob Trulock and senior soccer player Emily Do shared a love for nature and hiking. It was something they always tried to do together.
“He was important to me and my friends,” said Do. “We planned to hike at his memorial because that was just something he always wanted to do. We were either always hiking or playing soccer and nature was a big part of his life. So Prosser was the perfect place for hiking.”
Jacob Trulock was captain of the NAHS boys soccer team and made it a point to not only support his team but the girls team too.
“He was just a good person,” Do said. “He was always willing to help someone else out. You know, it’s not about me or anyone else. What we did, we did it for his family, and we did it for Jacob.”
On April 4, over half of the NAHS student body and some other students in surrounding schools, wore orange in remembrance and honor for the life of Jacob Trulock. To extend the gesture, classes let out early and everyone who had on an orange shirt reported to the main gym where we took a photo so that we would never forget.
“Jacob just loved the color orange,” Senior exchange student Lorenzo Nebolosi said. “We used to make fun of Jacob because he wore orange so much. When you get dressed you don’t think of wearing the color orange, like, why in the world would you wear orange? It was just nice that it was his color and we all decided to wear it.”
Shortly after social media pages and timelines began to fill with seas of orange. The picture of over half of NAHS wearing orange sparked an overwhelming feeling of comfort for many who were grieving and brought the entire community closer. Nebolosi could not be more proud.
“I felt like it was something we needed to do, but I wasn’t expecting it to turn out that big. I’m glad that there was a positive side to all of it,” Nebolosi said.”I was proud to be a Bulldog and proud to be there.”
Jacob and Lorenzo had gotten close over both participating in Science Olympiad.
“I think even though he was not the best friend I ever had, like we didn’t hang out all that much, but he was the nicest friend I’ve ever had,” Nebolosi said. “I mean Jacob was always doing stuff and working hard so when we did get to hang out, it was awesome. He was just a real friend.”
- Softball & prom
Jacob decided that he wanted his senior prom spent with one of his best friends, senior Kristen Bradley. Jacob had the idea that the boys in his prom group was going to wear superhero shirts under their tux shirts.
“He was going to ask me to go to prom with him at the first softball game of the season,” Bradley said. “Prom was all he ever talked about, pretty much. He wanted to go so bad.”
Bradley and the rest of the softball team decided to dedicate the first game to Jacob and will wear hints of orange throughout the rest of it.
“That softball game, whether we won or lost was going to be a happy day,” Bradley said. “We wanted to give honor to him and remember him. There was a moment of silence before the game and we wore orange. Coach Atkins also said something that really motivated us, ‘Playing for something is dangerous, but playing for someone will prove you guys to be unstoppable.’
The softball team played with passion that night with one of the best people they’ve ever met on their minds.
“I was honored and proud to know and be someone that Jacob wanted to go to prom with,” Bradley said. “I’ll never forget him.”
Bradley and the rest of her prom group decided to go with Jacob’s idea and will wear superhero t-shirts under the boys’ tux and the girls will wear orange corsages while the boys will wear orange boutonnieres.
- The Memorial
what a beautiful day to remember Jacobs pic.twitter.com/mXNsGsFe57
— libby (@libbyfisherya) April 9, 2017
(click above link to see a video of a part of the memorial)
The memorial for Jacob included a speech from NAHS senior soccer player Kevin Sanchez, lanterns, and a 10-minute hike. Around 200 people came and remembered Jacob together.
- Soccer game
Kevin Sanchez and the rest of their club team suited up this past Tuesday at the Mocking Bird indoor field against the Deer Park Rangers. This game was a game that for once, the main purpose was not to win, but to play for Jacob.
“We will definitely play with more passion, that’s for sure,” Sanchez said. “I mean, we aren’t playing for ourselves anymore. It’s bigger than us.”
The soccer team ended up defeating the Deer Park Rangers 7-3.
- Scholarships and funds
One final tribute I would like to mention is the Jacob Trulock scholarship fund. There has been an amazing turnout, but we aren’t finished yet.
“I am so overwhelmed with gratitude,” Mrs. Trulock-Jones said. “It’s comforting to know that there were people who I would never in a million years had thought Jacob was close to felt like they were enough to the point of them showing support.”
If you knew Jacob, or even knew of him, please go to the Zestos at the New Albany and the Clarksville locations, or go to the Chillers locations at Sellersburg and Jeffersonville to eat icecream and support the Jacob Trulock Scholarship Fund. All you have to do is show the flyer or just mention the JT scholarship fund and 20% of the sales will be donated.
Jacob Trulock was one-of-kind. We will always remember the amazing person he was and the evidence is all around us if we just take the time to look.
The last time I saw Jacob was in fourth period two days before spring break. He came into the room and he asked me if I wanted some of his Chick-fil-A fries.