Domestic Violence Didn’t Exist In My Universe

I was raised in a loving family in South Boston. Both my parents needed to work to support us—there were four girls— my mother was an operating room nurse, and my father had his own plumbing business. He used to joke that they were doing the same thing—rewiring plumbing— only from a different perspective. They always seemed to work things out between them with no harsh words, and there was laughter in the house. I was the eldest and helped my mother as much as I could with my sisters. I wanted to. I was loved—all of us were. “Listen to your mother, she knows best,” or “Whatever your mother says goes,” was my father’s mantra. We sat as a family for dinner, and every Friday night after work, he brought home a dozen red roses for my mother. Domestic violence didn’t exist in my universe.