Often, I think about the impact that one person can have on others. This past weekend was Kathy Waddell’s 40th birthday. I have known Kathy since she was a little girl. One memory that speaks volumes about the impact she has had goes way back when she about 8 years old. There was a huge group of us that went to Six Flags, and my sister was inseparable with her best friend, Kathy Waddell. They wanted to play those games that you pay extra money to miraculously win a stuffed animal. My mom and dad gave my sister $5 to play the milk jug game – you know…where you get 3 softballs and you have to get that softball into the top of the iron milk jug to win. Kathy was cheering my sister on, and with one throw, the unbelievable happened…she won a giant buzzard that was three times the size of her entire body. No one wins that game. My sister did, though. The problem was that she won it first thing in the morning which meant she had to lug that thing around Six Flags all day. Kathy happily shared the load. Every time I saw them, Kathy was helping my sister carry the feet or the beak. It didn’t matter to Kathy – she was with her best friend.

Sunday night, about 35-40 of us threw her a surprise birthday party. Kathy does not like anybody to make a big “to do” for her, but you only turn 40 once. From the oldest to the youngest, we celebrated the impact she has had on our lives. We celebrated one of the most thoughtful and generous ladies we have been blessed to know. I have boxes of cards she has given me through the years. I thought I was the only one. Nope. Kathy spends the majority of her money on cards and gifts to brighten our day, to express sympathy when someone special to us has passed away, to offer encouragement, and whenever she sees something that she knows we would enjoy- she buys it, wraps it up, and gives it to us with love. The best is that she always writes, “Thank you for being my friend.”

Kathy Waddell – you are a true friend, and this church thanks you for being a true friend to so many. Thank you for the impact you have had on so many and making our lives better through your friendship. Thank you for the years you have spent helping in the nursery and Adventure Club. Thank you for the thoughtful and kind texts daily to let us know that you’re thinking about us, praying for us, and hoping we have a good week. Thank you for being our friend. We love you!