‘In the moooornin’… Here I aaaaam!’
-The Night Butterflies
I had a few plans for what this week’s post might be about but at the moment I can’t think of anything apart from the fact that one of my favourite friends has died suddenly in a car crash. So today would either bring a post my heart wouldn’t be in; no post at all; or a post letting you know and inviting you to mourn as well the loss of someone who is going to be so, so missed.
I don’t want to spend this post mourning, though. I want to tell you some stories about Kade ‘Shenanigans’ Erasmus and some of the reasons that his life fit perfectly with the philosophy of Right Ink On The Wall – make the right mark. Kade was fun and full of life, full of beans, full of the joys of every season. He’d see the best in every situation, the bright side of every cloud – he was one of the crew I described in my former post about Bella, Breaking Down & Bouncing Back, one of the friends who visited us on holiday a few weeks ago and that strived to make a knockback a highlight rather than a holiday-ruining experience; someone who could help everyone see the hilarious in the disasterous.
I can’t count the times that Kade’s antics have made me laugh, from running round the beaches together to hearing he’d accidentally drunk paint-stripper and spent Christmas Day in hospital – but he wasn’t just for giggles. I’m going to tell you about the two times he saved me. The first was when I’d moved flat in Manly, Sydney, to a pad not too far away from him. We had the same partners-in-crime, a wee family of four tearing up the Northern beaches, and we’d definitely torn it up the night before and were feeling very fragile. Despite this, though, when I saw the horrific creature lurking on my ceiling, I knew I could call on him. And like a very hungover hero, he came. Now, don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you that the Huntsman spider is a terrifying specimen. I don’t care that they’re not poisonous – this one was staring at me. We had a bit of a show-down, where I tried to accomplish all the normal things you want to do in your flat without my eyes leaving his. A friend was on holiday staying with me and on her way back to the pad. ‘Oh it’s fine,’ she said on the phone, ‘I’ll deal with it.’ Which was fine, she wasn’t scared of spiders – until she saw this one! So I called Kade, and he came and he fought said spider until it was safely evicted and we all were saved. Not every guy would trek over just to remove a spider from your house from the depths of hangover, I’m not entirely sure my own boyfriend would have :p
Story number 2 is maybe a little more serious. When I was alone up the Gold Coast, living in Bella the van and off bread and butter, I was taken in by Kade and his family and looked after. I’d just lost aforementioned boyfriend to Adelaide and was left on the coast to sell this damn van. Kade was like a brother, but not the annoying kind that doesn’t want you around – he’d invite me along even when he was spending quality time with his girlfriend, and we watched a lot of Once Upon A Time. One day there was a lead and someone wanted to buy the van. They’d bring cash they said, I just needed to meet them in a servo (petrol/gas station) on the way to Brisbane and if everything looked alright, it was a done deal. By this point, I was pretty desperate. I couldn’t leave the country until I sold the van but funds were beyond dwindling, in part due to the van, so I needed to get to the next country asap to get a job. I spoke to the guy on the phone and he seemed sweet, he gave me directions to the servo. He even said if he took the van, he’d drive me home and go back to the servo for it later. It was getting dark though, so Kade insisted on coming with me. We started the trek to Brisbane and oh how Bella acted out, but we made it and found the guy. He’d parked his truck nowhere near the servo. He was round the back, away from the lights, parked in the corner hidden from the CCTV camera. He was pretty angry when he saw Kade. ‘Why have you brought him?’ Kade shook his hand and looked him in the (crazy) eye. He demanded to know who was actually selling the van and I confirmed that it was me, but that I’d brought my flatmate along. He said well he wouldn’t be able to give both of us a lift back (I looked through the window of his truck – there was more than enough room). Nothing like the man I’d spoken to on the phone, he then muttered under his breath, refused to make eye contact with either of us and spent less than two seconds looking at the van before saying no to the sale and driving off. He then called and had a go at me for bringing a friend, saying it had put him off the whole deal. I then had another 10 missed calls, which I didn’t answer, thanks so much, because by then I was pretty ecstatic that I had brought someone along. We were both a bit shaken and stirred, but after taking a moment, we headed back to base in Bella and I thanked Kade a million times over for coming along! He was equally glad that he had.
Kade was a friend, a protector and someone I’m lucky to have met. He spoke a harsh word to me once in the whole time I knew him, and he text to apologise less than 10 minutes later. He was a big softy, who loved his family, loved his friends, and loved his dogs. He was full of fire and fun and if I’ve learnt anything from him, it’s to live in and for and enjoy the moment. I’m so glad he came over so that we could have some frolics before he left us for good. I’m just sorry that I couldn’t save him and return the favour.
So, in terms of asking you something, I just ask you all for a little perspective. I’d lost it last month, which I dubbed Black October. How laughable. No one died in October. I had work stresses and moving stresses and all the little peskinesses that can join together and drag you down. But looking back now, I can see them for what they are – petty problems. Take a moment for the people you love; send a message to someone you’ve not had time to speak to; listen to someone who’s trying to reach you. Enjoy the moments you have with the people you love – you really can’t predict when you might lose them. And live life like Kade Erasmus – for the moment and for each other.