Join our email list.

(type your email address)

Share Your Story

Register to share your story
Already registered: login

Get to Know Your Parents

Recent Stories

Featured Stories

See the Film

51 Birch Street


Read the Reviews

"51 Birch Street is a beautiful, resonant piece of work about how little we know about our parents' lives, about marriage and fidelity, loss and reconciliation. I've often felt that the personal documentary has overstayed its welcome, but Birch Street reaffirms my faith in the form."

– Anthony Kaufman, INDIEWIRE

Lea Register (age 60)

Even though I’ve never seen the film, I have read many of the stories on this site.
I suppose the one thing that stands out about my parents and when I became the ‘parent’ is when my father died.  He was only 52 when he died.  He and my mother had been married for twenty nine years; I was twenty seven at the time.  As an only child, all responsibilities feel on me.  At first I just didn’t understand and only ‘reacted’ to actions that took place: my mother had a nervous breakdown and tried to commit suicide, we lost our home, and I had three children( ages 4,5, and 6) of my own to take care of as a single parent from my own divorce three years earlier.

My mother’s inability to cope with life had never really mattered to me before because my father had always been around to make sure she was taken care of.  I didn’t know how immature she was or what an effect it would have on my own life.

Since we lived with my mother following my father’s death, life went on.  I worked, she eventually went back to work, and the kids went to school.  I THOUGHT things were going o.k.  But as time went by she relied more and more on me - for everything.  I now was not only the parent to three small children - but also became my mother’s parent! 

During the next twelve years I kept up the routine, but one day I met up with a past ‘love’ and we got married.  Even though I had a new husband, step-daughter and my own three - we had baby...and five years later had another daughter.  When all was said and done - I now have FIVE children (2 boys and three girls) and a MOTHER! 

Mom is in a nursing home today from an auto accident she was in five years ago, but I go to see her three times a week and still take care of her...she’s my sixth child.

Over the past years she’s relayed to me her personal relationship with my father...the good times...and the bad.  Sometimes I feel like she’s trying to change my mind about my Dad and how I feel about him.  I’m a grown woman now...I hope so, I’m 60 and am a grandmother myself!  But I don’t want to change how I feel about my father.  I loved him and I knew that a day didn’t go by that he didn’t love me.  I know that my mother loves me...but why does she want me to dislike my father so much?? 

I really don’t want to hear about such personal things that went on between my parents.  I know from my own experiences that life, marriage, relationships, etc. are a matter of choices we all have make and have to deal with the consequences of making bad choices.

I keep journals all the time.  My computers are full of notes about how I feel but they don’t contain intimate details that I wouldn’t want my children to read when I’m gone. 

When my mother used talk about my father after he died, she always said, “We had only one arguement in our marriage - it started the day we got married and ended the day he died!” I used to laugh at that because she would knock anyone’s head off that ever said a bad word about my Dad.  And when you were around my father, God help your soul if you said anything against my mother!  They had a very stange relationship - but it was theirs.  No one was allowed to interfere - not even me!  So now why is she totally turning things around???

Today she’s a very different person and I just wish my Dad had lived to help her in these years.

I makes me think about my own children and what they will think and feel about me and my three husbands!  Oh yeah - I divorced a second time and remarried five years ago!  You’d think I would have learned my now…

Anyway, take care about what you leave for your children; notes or spoken words.  Children have a way of ‘fanticising’ about their parents.  Leave it alone and let us be happy...please!

Leave a Comment



Your Comment:

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Comments are moderated and will not be viewed on the site until approved.