The timing of when we met the Hagan family couldn’t have been more perfect, they were the life preserver we desperately needed at that moment.

Louise and Carl Hagan loved kids they had six of their own.  Louise was the epitome of motherhood and Carl, fatherhood.  She was warm and tender, the gentleness of her heart shined through when she looked your way and in that moment you felt you were all that mattered.  Carl Hagan was a quiet, bear of a man but when he spoke, his comments were always wise and important.   The Hagan home was nothing fancy, they didn’t have a lot in material possessions but to Gary, Daniel, David and I they had everything.

The Hagan family interaction was so different from what we knew my brothers and I thought it was strange, but we liked it.  In their home, voices were never raised in anger cursing screaming and name calling were not allowed.  There was love, deep respect, common courtesy, and gratitude for all they had been given.  The thought of inflicting pain on someone through whipping, beating or kicking as a means of punishment never entered their minds.

Louise Hagan had no idea how bad our life was but her gift of understanding kids allowed her to see something was terribly wrong inside our house.  She pointed out, praised and encouraged the qualities she saw in each of us to an excess because she saw we were so badly in need of kind words.  Carl and Louise had instilled Kindness and sharing in their six kids, they never resented me and my brothers getting part of their parent’s time and love.  Day or night their door was always open to us, we knew we would eventually have to go back to our house and all that went on there but, we were fortified in knowing we could go back anytime.

Until Mrs. Hagan, my brothers and I didn’t know the feeling of being hugged, she never let us leave her house without one.  Snuggling us to her heart, her arms around us, we knew her love was to be counted on and always would be.  Her parting words to us were always, “Remember, God loves you kids and so do I.”

As our wonderful mentor and lifelong friend turn’s 89, I thank God for His Divine intervention that made our childhood easier to bear.

I recently asked Louise Hagan why she and Carl, who passed away many years ago, devoted their lives to the welfare of four children that weren’t their own, four kids that happened to move into a house, two doors and a vacant lot away.  She replied, “From the moment I met you kids and your mother I felt deep within my spirit we had a bond that would never be untied.  I intuitively knew you were forever inextricably a part of our lives, God-fused with purpose and for a reason.  We loved you kids!