I've had a very difficult time since I heard of my friend Jacob Schlottke's passing. As alumni of the Apple Valley Wrestling program we always shared a bond, albeit a decade or two apart of our times in the wrestling room up above the gym in Apple Valley. Don't be confused, one of us was a humble legend in that room, the other a legend in his own mind. I'll leave it all to you, our friends, to know who was who.
I knew that Jacob had been sick. At one point he talked about buying some property in Florida. We discussed different options but selfishly I was hoping that he would choose to live somewhere between Tampa and Orlando which I seem to find myself traveling between constantly. When he became ill, those plans were kind of put on hold as I heard from him a little bit less. I found him on at odd times of the evening. As a night owl myself, I was comforted to see him on at times and we'd talk about life, business, my boys, his family and his beautiful wife. Rarely did we discuss wrestling in great detail. All of you know here enough to know that I have always been a bit limited in my "research" so much of what I have in the form of opinions or knowledge come from these websites, my time in the sport and from what I can read in my limited time. Jacob never seemed to mind hearing the inane babble but he really seemed passionate about his family, his friends, his business and what it was like to be a parent.
I found out about his passing, shockingly, from the article in the Minneapolis paper. I texted Shane ( JensenS)within moments and my heart just dropped in my chest and a lump formed in my throat when I received the confirmation. Jacob and I had spoken less than 2 months prior. He never let on at that time that the treatments had not pushed the cancer back.
In hindsight I see just how absolutely selfless of a person he was in this past year. In choosing to keep his battle private, he was keeping us all talking about the things that he loved to talk about most. The sport, our friends and family, the website etc. He once told me that he had respect for me being a parent of three boys, one with special needs and a business man and a husband/brother/son. I am here to tell you Jacob that it is I that am humbled to have been your friend and that I am in awe of your bravery and courage.
I will miss you.