The thing that matters most

In 1969, Louise Hall-Foster and her five brothers spent many lonely evenings locked inside a tiny shed in Kalaheo, while their father worked nights at Coco Palms Hotel. “He locked us up, and left us hungry.” Hall said. “If it wasn’t for our kind neighbors, we would not have eaten many times.” Hall attended Kalaheo Elementary School and was victim to the often cruel nature of 9-year-old girls. “I had no friends and everyone was so mean to me.” Without clean clothes, Hall was often the center of jokes and insults.

It took the kind eyes of another student in Hall’s class to realize how desperately she needed a friend. “She saved my life and gave me hope.” Bringing food and clean clothes to the small shed, this young hero, Gail Silver, had brought light into Hall’s very dark world. The two girls became best friends.

In December, Hall wrote to The Garden Island in hopes she could be reunited with the friend whom she had lost touch with over the years. “I’ve tried everything I know — I’ve even called people on Kaua‘i asking them if they know her, no luck,” Hall states in the letter. But soon after, Hall received a call from Silver.

Through a mutual friend Silver found out that Hall was looking for her. “When we finally spoke I told her that I probably could not have made it without her friendship and support. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart.”

Louise Hall has returned to Kaua‘i for the first time since her childhood. She is spending the week visiting with old friends and teachers. Gail Silver is currently undergoing surgery but Hall hopes to meet with her before departing. “Finding Gail was a dream come true, I had been looking and looking for her. After all these years I wanted her to know what her friendship meant. I hope I get to see her before I leave for Texas.”

“Sometimes the most valuable gift we can give is kindness.” Never knowing when the actions of one person affect the entire life of another, “Our friendship remains something very, very precious to me, and always will.”

• Keya Keita, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 or kkeita@kauaipubco.com.

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