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The Thread that Runs so True

After graduating from high school, I had a plan for my future! For months, I had secretly been sewing dresses, and slowly building up a collection of basic necessities. Finally I had saved enough money to purchase my one-way airline ticket to Honolulu, the big city in Hawaii that would keep me at a safe enough distance from the chaos of my parents’ home. Early one morning when I thought my parents were asleep, a friend of mine picked me up to take me to the airport. My parents, however, had apparently known of my plans all along. Just before I left, Mom quietly got up and called me to herself. She gave me $50.00 for my first month’s rent and gave me a hug. Dad pretended to be sleeping. After I left, he told Mom that he was disowning me.

This response from my dad was not surprising. He had grown up in a very abusive home and was used and rejected by his parents. Dad was the fifth youngest of seven children, the middle of three sons, and for whatever reason was targeted as the black sheep of the family. He worked the hardest, yet it was never enough—he was constantly beaten and berated. If his work was not satisfactory, he was placed in a burlap bag and hung overnight on a tree or in the garage. My uncle, the youngest in their family, was the apple of my grandparents’ eyes. He was the one who got to go to college, and Dad was the one who was made to work to support him through college.


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