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Mom and the Big Fib...

Story ID:6861
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana United States
Year:2011
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Mom and the Big Fib…
By Chuck Dishno

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would my Mom’s 114th birthday. She was born on February, 20, 1897 but she would not always admit to that date.

When I was growing up and would ask Mom when she was born, she would always say, with a downward glance, “Oh, 1900”. Then she would say to me that a gentleman should never ask a woman how old they are and let it go at that.

I never questioned her again about her age and on more than one occasion heard her tell her friends that she was born in 1900. Since Mom never had a job she didn’t have to have a Social Security Card. She was listed along with my Dad’s card so no one was the wiser.

This all came to an abrupt halt when I was about 45 years old and was going thru an old trunk of my Grandmother’s that I had stored in the barn at our little horse ranch near Fresno, CA. Mom was living by herself in a small apartment since my Dad died in 1959.

After digging in the trunk, for a while, I came across her Mother and Father’s marriage certificate, dated 1896. This spiked my curiosity, since I knew that Mom was their first child and in those days there was no “waiting until I’m ready” time. The first baby usually came along 9 or 10 months after the wedding.

After reading this find, I called Mom on the phone and asked her again when she was born. She immediately rattled off, 1900 and asked why I was so curious. I then told her that I had found her parents’ marriage certificate and the date. Mom sounded embarrassed but laughed and said that she was actually born in 1899. She told me that she had always said her birth year was 1900 because it sounded so much better than 1890 something. She sounded relived that the cat was finally out of the bag.

I told Mom that I loved her then hung up and continued to search in that old trunk and soon came across a children’s Christmas book. Inside the cover was written, “To Lura, on her first Christmas, from Grandpa Venen”. Now my curiosity was tweaked again and I called Mom and told her what else I had found and what it said. She then said, “Oh, alright, I was born in 1897.” We had a good laugh at my detective work and all was forgiven.

Mom came to live with Roz and I soon after that and stayed for almost 9 years until she passed away in 1992 at the age of 95. She is buried here in Dillon in the Dishno family plot where Roz and I will be joining her in a few years.

After her “big fib” was found out, she became proud of her age and told everyone her true birth year. What a lady.

Mom is now a resident of Heaven where I am sure she proudly shows off her Heavenly Social Security Card. I believe God has forgiven her for telling her little white lie all those years. After all I don’t think even God would ask a lady her age.