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Happy Birthday Mom..."Myself Third"

Story ID:9538
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Last week I submitted an article on my dad’s 130th birthday, titled "Happy Birthday Pop". In the tribute to my Pop I named a choice bit of advice he instilled in me.

This week, February 20th, will mark my Mom’s 117th birthday. Mom was born in Missoula in 1897. It is only fitting that I share with you the legacy that was handed down to me by this wonderful lady. This is a story I wrote a few years ago.

Myself Third
By Chuck Dishno

Many years ago when I was about 10, I remember coming home from school and heading straight to the cookie jar. When I lifted the lid I found a little scrap of paper taped to the inside. In my Mom's scrawled handwriting it said, "Myself Third".

I didn’t think too much about it but when I went to the cupboard to get a glass for my milk, there was another note that said, "Myself Third". It still didn't make much of an impression on me until I went to the bathroom and when I lifted the seat, there was the same message taped on the underside of the toilet lid.

My curiosity was beginning to get to me and the hunt was on to see where else I could find that strange message. It was everywhere. In the closet, in my sock drawer, on the stovetop, under plates, just about everywhere I looked that strange note was lurking. Now with my curiosity peaked, I went looking for Mom and found her in the kitchen making me a sandwich.

When I asked about this strange note, Mom said “Well, Charles, I was thinking about life today and decided that is how I should lead my life - God First, Others Second and Myself Third. “

What a great way to look at life. That's the way Mom was, not a brilliant philosopher but just a wonderful lady with a love for God and knew how to put things in the proper order.

Mom lived to be 95, the last 9 years with Roz and I. Mom never changed her outlook on life and God. She was the most religious person I have ever known and if she is not in Heaven now then there is no Heaven.

If you are traipsing around Mountain View Cemetery and happen upon the Dishno family plot you will see mom’s headstone with the inscription at the bottom, “Myself Third”. It is my tribute to this wonderful lady

I now say to you, Mom, "Thank you for the values of life you taught me and I will always try to think of myself as “Myself Third.”