It’s a love story a long time in the making.
Michael White and Kimberly (Caudle) Kennedy were high school friends in Miami Springs who never dated, went their separate ways and reconnected after 35 years.
Now, they’re set to be married, after Michael got down on one knee and proposed inside the Gazebo on the Circle on a recent beautiful Saturday afternoon. He put together an elaborate surprise for his new bride-to-be.
“I am extremely happy for my dad and Kim, as they both deserve the love and friendship they have both found through each other,” said Mike’s daughter, Tiffany. “What I love about their story is that they grew up together, right there in Miami Springs, not even knowing that is where they would both ultimately end up, together!”
As is often the case these days, this story might not have happened if not for Facebook.
After White graduated from Miami Springs Senior High in 1975, he promptly enlisted in the United States Air Force and eventually was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa. He was honorably discharged in 1978 and began a career as a real estate appraiser in 1979. White became a single dad raising all three of the kids beginning in 1992, in Tampa.
Kennedy graduated from Miami Springs Senior High in 1978, became a single mom raising two kids, and resides at her parents’ home in Miami Springs. Kennedy is employed at the medical office of Gregory Reed.
White’s first recollection of the Caudles: “My junior high days when Coach Jim was one of my summer program coaches at the Recreation Center. Coach used to make me run laps when I didn’t pay attention! (Didn’t like it then, but am thankful for it now!) Judi Caudle was my sister’s Sunday school teacher at Miami Springs Baptist Church. Jim (and eventually Kim’s brothers Danny and Chris) was a customer of Dad’s at the barbershop.
“I knew of Kim because she was a cheerleader during Optimist football season when I played. Kim and I became friends at Miami Springs Baptist Church (MSBC) in the youth group. I also was aware Jim and Judi Caudle were also active at the Miccosukee Indian Mission sponsored by MSBC.
“However, we never were girlfriend/boyfriend. Flirted some — don’t tell Coach Caudle — and goofed around a lot. Special, special memories of those days! Kim and I were never in the same class or grade during our school years because Kim is three years younger than me.”
However, they were able to hear about each other’s lives through Facebook.
“It became apparent to both of us in short order that something ‘special’ was happening,” White said. “We began to feel like teenagers again. Emotions of joy, excitement, reliving old times, and amazement that this ‘friendship’ just rekindled, that we had reconnected.”
“I have prayed and prayed to God to bring somebody into my life. And Mike was the same way. It just seems amazing with one little friend request. To this day he thanks me for me asking him to be his friend,” said Kennedy.
The pair said when they reunited, the years melted away.