Out in the Open·Full Episode

The Secret Lives of Parents

How well do you really know your parents? This week, Piya speaks with people who discovered bombshells about their folks that didn't just change how they saw them, but how they saw themselves, their childhoods and their places in the world.

How well do you really know your parents?

Anya Yurchyshyn's parents on their wedding day. (Submitted by Anya Yurchyshyn)
Listen to the full episode54:00

How well do you really know your parents? This week, Piya speaks with people who discovered bombshells about their folks that didn't just change how they saw them, but how they saw themselves, their childhoods and their places in the world.

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

Learning to love your parents as people

When Anya Yurchyshyn was growing up, her father was very strict, and her mother suffered from alcoholism. She felt relief when they eventually died, until she discovered their secret love letters, which changed her understanding of who her parents were.

Her mother kept her racial background a secret her whole life

Gail Lukasik grew up in the suburbs of Ohio. For most of her life, she thought she was white. Then one day she found out her mother was keeping a big secret about their family background. She speaks with Piya about how discovering her true racial background changed her views on race and her own identity.

Bill Gaston describes the 'mystical experience' at his father's deathbed

Author Bill Gaston says his relationship with his dad was typical. They liked to go fishing together, and his dad would tell tall tales of his younger years. But his dad's flaws and struggle with alcoholism became more apparent to Gaston as he got older, and he distanced himself. He tells Piya how learning about the childhood struggles that made his dad who he was led to forgiveness.

'I'll tell you someday': A daughter discovers her dad's long-lost son

Beckie Evans had a happy childhood, growing up in Hamilton, Ont. But she always wondered why her dad kept a photo of a blond-haired boy on his dresser. Her parents refused to discuss it. It wasn't until years later she discovered the truth and her dad was reunited with his long-lost son.


This episode of Out in the Open originally aired on August 26, 2018.
 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.