In Memory Of My Mom


Aug 15, 1939 to Jan 4, 2002


For you Mom,

We traveled this world
Through the joy and fun,
The sorrows and the pain.

Not a moment went by
when you were not on my mind.
For you are my mom.

There are so many things
that I don’t understand
And are now lost in time.

I look within myself
And I see you so much
For I am your son.

© 2002 Don Shetterly


Mom, You Gave Me So Many Things

You gave me so many things.  I will probably miss some but here is what I can see in myself that you gave me.

Your intelligence
Your beautiful looks
Your compassion for others
Your understanding of life
Your strength to keep going
Your never ending fight
Your talent of music
Your respect of all things
Your ability to deal with pain

Mom, thank you for what you gave to me.  I carry it with me each and every day of my life.


Dear Mom

I know that you loved the Serenity Prayer and the song, I Come To The Garden Alone.  Since these were favorites of yours, I am including them up here on this tribute page.  I am including a YouTube video of me playing the music, “I Come To The Garden Alone”.

Even after all these years, I miss you so much.  I wish I could just talk to you, ask you those questions I never got to ask and just hang out with you.  You were always special to me even in the midst of all that we endured in our house.

Losing you so suddenly that day is like a moment of time forever locked in my mind.  It is almost as if it happened yesterday.  I will never forget you mom.  You meant the world to me.  You were one of the very few that actually understood me in ways that most do not.

While this page has remained relatively like the day that I put it up on my site, I have updated it a little and given it a fresh coat of paint.  This page will remain a tribute to my mom for as long as I have a website.



The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.


I Come To The Garden Alone

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Tho’ the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go- thru’ the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

C. Austin Miles


YouTube Video Of “I Come To The Garden”


Here’s Some Pictures

Mom, I hope you don’t mind me using some of these pictures.  Each one of them has a story behind it and they all remind me of you in such a special way.


Mom Birthday Cake Mothers Day MusicThis was a birthday cake I made for my mom on her birthday.  I was just maybe in high-school at the time and not very experienced making cakes.  Little did I know at the time, that you needed to let the cake completely cool before frosting it.  We all got a laugh out of it and regardless of the drooping frosting, you still enjoyed it and appreciated the thought and effort I put into it.



Mothers Day Music_Mom and Dad_Easter

This picture of you was taking at our house in Glidden, Iowa with that other person we called “Dad”.  I believe this was on Easter Sunday.  You were a beautiful lady then and even to the day you left this.





Mothers Day Music Mom Sheffield HouseA picture that goes back many years to the house we built in Sheffield, Iowa.  I’m surprised there was no cat around this picture.  I remember many things in this house, some were good and there were far too many memories that were not good.




Mothers Day Music Mom FamilyI remember where this picture was taken.  It was at the Carroll Rec Center where we attended that very strict Baptist church that brainwashed us into things that were not right.  It took me a long time to come out of that brainwashing.  I do remember you teaching Sunday School there and together we put on Christmas plays.  There are good and bad moments here.  You helped keep the family together and now that has all changed.



Mothers Day Music Mom Christmas CookiesEvery year at Christmas you always baked Christmas cookies and we helped you.  I remember spending hours frosting cookies for you so we could put out for Santa Claus.  You always made the holidays special and without you, they will never be the same.  I still make Christmas cookies and frost them at times, just like we used to do.




Mothers Day Music Mom SurpriseOops, I caught you by surprise in this picture and I know you didn’t like that.  You were busy at the kitchen preparing a meal.  While dad tried to take credit for teaching you how to cook, somehow I think it just came natural to you because the food you served was so delicious.  You always managed to cook on a very small food budget too and loved it when people would come over for a meal.



Mothers Day Music Mom goofy pictureI debated if I wanted to put this picture up here or not.  It is the whole family or at least at the time, but has others in it, I would rather not show.  It has you with a gun and I know you were not in favor of killing animals anymore than I was.  I realize this picture was meant to be goofy, but I know completely it was not who you were.  Yet, you did enjoy fun and goofy moments.




Mothers Day Music Mom ISU GraduationOne of the proudest moments of my life was at graduation from Iowa State University.  Some would ridicule me because I went to college, but not you.  You were happy for me that I was able to do this and be the first one from our family to graduate with a four-year degree.  I remember having tears in my eyes when that picture was taken because I knew you were so proud of me.




Mothers Day Music Mom NC CatI still remember the day you stopped by while I was living in NC.  It was my birthday and you made me a cake which was so special.  I also love this picture because you are holding my cat and both you and I loved our cats so much.  It is a special memory for me.




Mothers Day Music Mom BirthdayThis was not my birthday, but Doug’s birthday.  However, I remember that like holidays, you always made our birthdays special.  Often we would get to invite friends over and you would create games to entertain everyone.  You were so creative and loving and did all you could to celebrate the day we were born.




Mothers Day Music Mom Easter LillyThe Easter Lilly was something that I often got you for Easter.  I loved getting flowers for you and I know how much you appreciated it.  Saving money from my paper route enabled me to buy the Easter Lilly.   The flowers matched your outward beauty and your heart.  I still buy an Easter Lilly in memory of you, Mom.




Mothers Day Music Mom HidingI think I had an accomplice in trying to take this picture.  Yes, I know you had your hair in curlers, but we were having fun with the camera.  Instead, we got a shot of a newspaper.  I know you took it all in fun and I don’t recall you ever getting angry with us for something playful like this.





Mothers Day Music Mom Chocolate Covered CherriesOh no…. the chocolate covered cherries that you loved so much.   I remember wrapping them up as a Christmas gift and giving them to you.  It was the simple gifts that mattered so much – well at least until the ugly side of the family came out.  It was always fun at Christmas and not because of how much we got in gifts, but because they were given out of love.




Mothers Day Music Mom GrandchildMom, you always loved children and even though I never got to be a part of seeing you with a grandchild, your love is so evident.  I can see the love you have shining through your face.  This is one of the most beautiful things I remember about you.





Other Memories

I remember how proud you were of me when I bought my first electric typewriter.  Things have sure changed now in life, but in those days, that was like having the best computer around.  It helped me pay for college as I typed papers for other students.

There are other pictures I am no longer adding to this page.  They are personal and heart-felt, but I’m not sure anyone else would understand.  I may go back and add them later, but for now, I’m holding them back.

I remember when I was in the hospital and you were so worried.  The letters and cards you sent meant so much.  Unfortunately, I also remember the sad chapter that followed this time and how much pain was inflicted.   No matter what, I still choose to believe you loved me and if it wasn’t for the monsters in my life, things would have been different.

There are many special friends in my life, but Jeff is one of them.  I wish you could have met him.  You would have loved him so much.

For the first time, I’m really discovering myself in life.  There was so much that I didn’t know.  I sense you all the time and I see your presence around me.  It is a comfort to me and it gives me peace.  Thank you for your presence.  You live in my heart every day and in every thing that I do.  You are a part of me and I forever will be a part of you.

I love you Mom.

I miss you Mom!


Update From 2008

Mom, I sense you everywhere I go.  I know you’re there.  I feel it.  And I thank you for being there, for watching over me, guiding me, helping me, comforting me.  I do miss you terribly and often think of things that we did together, we shared and we struggled through. There isn’t a day that goes by when you’re not on my mind.  I think of baking the Christmas cookies  and how that is something we shared and somehow I learned from all those years watching you do this.  And I once again shared them with people who meant a lot to me just like you did as well.

Mom, I know that so much of my life and who I am is a strong reflection of who you are.  I sense things and know things that most people don’t just like you did.  I love my alone time as well but love people and
sharing life with them.  I see the creativity in myself that I’m embracing for the first time in my life and know that you had that same creativity.  I was so much like you and more so than I always realized.

It saddens me to think of the family situation and how everything is.  I don’t know if I will ever see the healing that needs to take place but I’ve learned to accept it and just try to forgive all those involved as best as I can at this moment of my life.   Some people say I chose you and Dad and this life which is still hard for me to come to terms with.  It was a difficult life to endure which you already know.  I’ve got wonderful people that do love me and watch after me in my life as well and so I consider them my extended family.

I’m still trying to figure out what all is happening in life and that seems like more of a mystery than I sometimes know how to deal with.  I’m just trusting each day that a little more will be revealed to me
than the day before and learning to accept that answers sometimes come slowly.  I’ve got my faults
but then again, there are so many years of pain, hurt and anger within me that I’m trying to discover
and release.  I know the courage I get to face things in life and to do this comes from the courage
I saw you have each day that you endured what you did.  How you made it, I’ll never understand
because you faced so much.  But yet, you loved me and gave me so much.

I do miss you Mom.  I wish I could still talk to you face to face but I know that this is no longer possible.
I do talk to you and I know you hear me and I so appreciate that.  I just miss having you as my mom in
my life.  So just know that I truly love you and that I carry you with me each day.

And today, I just pause to remember



Update From 2012

It’s been 10 years Mom since I last saw you the day at the funeral.  I can’t get that day
out of my mind, nor the thought that when I last saw you, I could no longer have the chance of talking
to you or saying goodbye.  That day haunts me very waking minute of life.

This year though, you have really been on my mind.  I miss you and so long for a family that cares and loves
each other, not just says that this is what family does.  I doubt I’ll ever see much more then lip service in
our family.  Often, I wonder why I was born into this family because I don’t feel like I fit in.

It has been some rough times lately and I just wish I had you close to get a hug from you or just to have
you listen to me.  You were the only one while growing up that truly cared or cared to the capacity
you were able.  There were times that you just understood me like no one else could.

No matter what, there is always a hole in my life longing for you.  Yes, I’ve found other ways to fill it in,
but deep down, the longing will always remain.  This year, my mind is so occupied with you and this
day.  I don’t fully understand why it is so much more intense this year.  I did try to walk with you
today in the park even though there were too many people to just talk with you openly.

I love you Mom and I miss you.