Before passing away just two months ago at the age of 57, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Alex Tizon, left one final piece of work that revealed the secret that his family has been hiding from the world. In an article published in The Atlantic, Tizon revealed how his family has been keeping a slave at their suburban American Home for 56 years.

Modern day slave

The family's slave was "given" to Tizon's 12-year old mother by his grandfather as a gift back in the Philippines. Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who was called Lola by everyone in the family, was 18-years old when she started working for the family.

When Tizon's parents migrated to the United States from the Philippines, Lola was brought along with them and was promised money for her to send to her family.

Years of abuse

However, instead of getting paid for her services, Lola was isolated from the public and was not paid one cent despite working tirelessly day and night. To make matters worse, Lola was verbally abused when she sat for too long or fell asleep too early. She was not allowed to go home, which resulted in her papers expiring. Lola was kept as a secret and no one outside of their family knew about her role.

She was physically struck when she attempted to talk back and only ate leftovers after the family's meal. Lola did not have any friends, no hobbies, and did not have her own place to sleep in inside the house.

Lola usually slept in piles of laundry or inside the corner of the children's room. Tizon even recalls a story her mother had previously shared with him about how her father would punish Lola instead of her by lashing her with his belt.

Realizing his family's shame

According to the article, Tizon only realized what Lola was to their family when he was 11 years old.

Lola had a close relationship with Tizon and his siblings as she was the one that looked after them, washed their clothes, and cleaned up after them since they were born. Tizon also shares an argument he had with his mother and how he ended up hating her for the way she treated Lola.

When Tizon was old enough, he took Lola away and let her live with him in his house.

He gave her $200 a week and asked her to stop working. Lola sent most of the money to her family in the Philippines and took up gardening and even taught herself to read and write in English. Lola still cooked and cleaned inside Tizon's house and constantly doted on the man she helped raise. Lola died at the age of 86, after having been a slave for more than five decades.