In april of 2021 I had just gotten out of a long term relationship. Anxious to stay busy and be around friends, I went over to Cades house. Per usual he texted me, “just walk in“. I hopped out of my car, slipped my shoes off by the front door, and headed down the steps to a “Whats uppp!”. It was early in the evening and a few friends were already there as Cade informed me he was thinking of having a little party (sorry Michelle!). I was excited about this because I loved gathering in Cade’s basement. Everybody was always welcome and it was always a good time. What sticks out to me, and why I’m writing this, was this quick exchange I had with Cade right before the party began. “Where’s (ex-boyfriend)?” he said to me and I froze for a second. “Well actually we broke up so I doubt he’s coming”. A quick expression of sadness flashed his face and he said “that’s too bad I love ***** he was always nice to me!”. And I was caught off guard! I was so used to people saying negative things about someone once you mention a breakup in hopes to make you feel a bit better but Cade just said something nice and then moved on to express his sadness for me. He reminded me of my special qualities and was so positive about the whole thing and for future memories to be made it was quite refreshing. This was a great reminder that everyone experiences people differently. And Cade never changed his opinion on someone just because of someone else’s experience. He always just believed what he personally experienced but didn’t invalidate your experience either. I started noticing this more and more with Cade. Like that night if he’s having a party and one of his friends doesn’t like someone. Normally, you would just avoid inviting that person to please your friend. But for Cade, if you were good to him he was good to you and that was that.
Over the next few months Cade and I hung out often. Cade accepted me where I was at every single day. Some days it was hiking all over trying to find the best hammocking trees and loud music and singing off-key. Some days it was just sitting in the basement talking. Some days it was just sleeping in our own hammocks silently under the sun. Cade understood the battles I faced in my head without me having to say too much. He didn’t expect anything out of anyone and was just happy for you to show up, as you are. I really appreciate the way Cade made each of his friends feel important and special. I’ll never forget all the random nice texts he would send. Whether it was a spontaneous “Ily” or “You’re a cool ass human nikki” it was always genuine and it always made me smile. Thank you, Cade, for being a real friend to all.