Forging friendships on a golf course is not unusual, but this particular friendship goes well beyond golf and golf courses.
Brooke White, 18, and Mikaela Thibodeau, 17, met three years ago when they were freshmen at Cypress Bay High in Broward County, both trying out for the golf team.
“When we saw each other at that tryout, we immediately clicked,” Mikaela remembers.
Together, they did what young girls do — they played golf, talked, listened to music, studied.
Then, this past February, the friendship became more necessary, more important than either Brooke or Mikaela thought possible. That was when Brooke’s mother, Angela Kramer-White, died of cancer at age 48, and Brooke desperately needed her friend to be there for her.
Her friend was.
“At first, I was afraid of what to say to Brooke,” Mikaela said. “I didn’t want to say the wrong thing.
“It was so hard seeing how much Brooke hurt. She was holding everything in. Everything was deep down inside of her.”
However, Brooke’s hurt could not be completely hidden no matter how hard she tried. Mikaela could see the hurt in her face and hear it in her words.
“And I wanted to cry also,” Mikaela said, but she didn’t want to let her grief become an added burden on Brooke.
Finally, Mikaela decided this was no time to be silent. It was a time to be honest, brave and strong and to be a friend. Time to say what she thought. One night, Brooke and Mikaela were in the stands at a high school baseball game and Brooke realized something and broke down in tears.
“I’m not going to have my Mom at my graduation,” Brooke said.
Mikaela looked up and saw a star and told Brooke, “Yes you are, Brooke. You see that star up there. That’s your Mom. Just look at the clouds and stars — your Mom is still here.”
Angela Kramer-White was an important part of the Cypress Bay golf team and headed the physical education department at the school, and there is one word that comes up repeatedly in talking about her. That word is “special.” It seems any and all people who had any dealings or contact with Angie White described her with that singular word — special.
She certainly was special to the Cypress Bay girls’ golf team, which is coached by her husband, Mike.
When the golf team went to the state tournament in October, finishing second, they put homemade ribbons in their caps with Angie’s initials on them. The players made tribute bracelets in her honor. They would call her each night to let her know how they had done. And it was the golf team that provided the impetus to hold the first Angela Kramer-White Memorial Golf Tournament, to be held at Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation on April 28.
Money raised will go to the family as Mike White, who also is the baseball coach at Cypress Bay, is now suddenly raising six children by himself. In addition to Brooke, they are John Michael, 22, at the University of Florida; Shane, 21, at Santa Fe Community College; Michaela, 15, a freshman at Cypress Bay; Angela, 13, a freshman at Falcon Cove Middle School; and Brett, 8, at Manatee Elementary.
“I’m still shocked,” Mike White said of his wife’s death. “It’s overwhelming. So many people loved her so much. The family talks about Angie every day.”