S: Dawn Dewaele: Memories of a Life
FC: Dawn Dewaele: Memories of a Life
1: The Dewaele Watchers | Following your mom's untimely passing, many of her friends in mourning found each other online. Searching for a way to | honor her, they pledged they would help keep her memory alive for your family through pictures, stories, and recollections. | It is our sincere hope that through these pages you get to know her as more than just a mom, but as the | funny, dynamic, beautiful, smart, nurturing, and strong woman she was and will ever be in our hearts and memories. If you are ever missing her or need somebody to talk to, all of the people you see on these pages will be there for you with love.
2: I met Dawn at Lakewood High School, and I believe the year was 1984. This picture from Julie and Steven's wedding is what Dawn looked like when we first met -- except she usually dressed in jeans and wore a beret! We met in Latin Class and became instant friends. I always admired her loyalty, incredible heart, brains and fierce sense of humor. Below is her official "Senior Portrait" from high school, with her note to me on the back. It made me laugh then, and still does. I will always love and miss Dawn! | Dawn Yoskowitz-Dewaele, Class of '87 Lori Schiraldi Delia, Class of '86
3: In June 1990, Dawn joined me at Georgetown for my graduation week, where we shared the most amazing memories. That is when Dawn gave me one of most thoughtful gifts ever, Oh, the Places You'll Go! She made notes throughout the book as they pertained to me and our friendship. But, best of all, she sat me down and read it to me in a way only Dawn could. I can still hear her voice. Then, when I became pregnant, she surprised me with a version for an expectant mother to read to her unborn baby ("babies" in both of our cases). I will never forget Dawn and her thoughtfulness.
4: VAQ-129 Valentine's Day Dance February 1999 | Added by the Bahner's
5: Swing Dance Cruise | All of Dawn's men First Prowler Ball 1999 | Hanging with the Whidbey ladies | Added by the Bahner's
6: When you're stuck on a rock, it's best to have good friends with you!
8: So when you live on Whidbey Island, WA everything is far. There were many years where our group of friends helped drive each other back and forth to the Seattle airport. Your mom and dad did this a lot for me while I was a single guy. | They would go out of their way to drive two hours and pick me up when I flew in and two hours to drop me off so I would not have to leave my car at the airport. I tell you this because in all of those times what stands out in my memory even today is the car that your mom wanted more than anything, a PT Cruiser. It was a purple hot rod machine that you knew when Dawn was traveling around town. While the one pictured here was not hers, it looks exactly like what she drove. Chris Bahner
9: A good time was had by all at the Taylor wedding! September 1, 2002
10: Happy Halloween 2002! Great times with Great Friends!! | THE GARUDAS meet The Flintstones and The Rubbles Love Tony and Kathy Rodgers
12: Bahner Wedding Jan. 10, 2004
13: Gregg, Addie and Gehrig, The first thing I think of when I remember Dawn is McDonald's. You see after only getting to know your mom for a few weeks as we all started training with your dad in Whidbey Island, Matt Garrison and I made a crucial mistake. Training for us in Whidbey started in December of 1998 and lasted through the year. Football season had started and the whole class would go over to your mom and dad's on Sundays to watch football and hang out. Well one week early on, Matt and I were running later than normal. Being the single guys that we were, we stopped by McDonald's for a couple of burgers on the way. We didn't finish them and brought the food into the house with us. Well your mom was quite upset that we would bring food to her home. You see your mom prided herself on hospitality and good food. They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well your mom had the hearts of all of us from the start. She was a fantastic cook and always the hostess to us all, especially the single guys who did not have someone to care and feed them so far from home. Till the day she passed she never let me forget that I brought McDonald's to her house. She was our friend, second wife and mom to so many of us...she will be deeply missed. Chris Bahner
15: This is one of my favorite e-mails from Dawn. I still remember laughing out loud when I read it, particularly her rationale for paper plates. I kept it all of these years. Love, Lori
16: Kolby, Gehrig, Addie, and Kaia March 2008
17: Dearest Addie and Gehrig, So much to say...so little space. I met you and your family through the Tidewater Mothers of Multiples Club in Virginia when you were just a few weeks old. My twins, Kaia and Kolby, are just a few weeks older than you. So, it was no surprise that your mamma and I hit it off, both of us struggling to maintain our sanity while raising boy/girl twin babies. Over the next year, we had the chance to take solace in each other's company as our lives were consumed with everything baby X 2. She amazed me with feats of organic baby food making, baths EVERY night, and a cornucopia of unconditional love. She was wicked smart, schedule driven, and soooo in LOVE with you. The world revolved around your happiness and well being. No matter the situation, love and wonderful food were ever present in your lives, nourishing your bodies and your souls. She was so PROUD to be married to your daddy. She radiated pride and love for your Daddy and his service in the Navy despite the hardships it placed on her. For hard it was having two babies and a husband deployed to the ends of the earth. She powered through that first deployment with grace and sheer will to survive. Your mamma was tough! She was smart. She was funny. She was kind. She was giving. She was loved. She hated her curly hair that everyone else thought was so beautiful. Most importantly, she loved you and your Daddy in this life and in the next. She is ever present. All you have to do to know her is to look at one another, because you are her. I will only get the chance to watch you grow up from afar, but I am a phone call away if you EVER want to ask me about my memories of your mother. She is forever in my heart as are you and your Daddy. Gia Strang
18: My Dearest Dewaele's, Through the years there are families we meet along the way that I am grateful to God we had in our lives and that I long to keep there. You are one of those families. In Monterey, Dawn taught me a lot about friendship. What she showed me most, which I already knew, is that friends love their neighbors. While Eric was deployed, Dawn and Gregg showed me love by cooking for me, walking with me, sweeping my house for me, putting baby gates up in my kitchen, offering the much needed beer at "5:00", and basically being the kind of neighbor and friend that I always want to be. That love will always shine through Addie and Gehrig. They are Dawn's legacy. I look forward to many years to come with your family and always finding love in your home. It may not always be shown in the same way that Dawn did it, but it will always be there and always be felt. May God bless you guys! Keep kicking! Love, The Tollefson Family Here are some pictures of yellow tulips. This was Dawn's favorite flower. I gave them to her on two occasions when I knew she needed a pick me up. I now want to leave some tulips for you to remind you to smile when it seems impossible.
21: Four families from Spruance Road went on a road trip. We were so happy we were able to share this time with each other. Memories that I will never forget.
23: Family meant everything to Dawn. She was dedicated to making her family her top priority.
24: Dawn was an inspiration to us all. From being an awesome mom, wife, and friend, she knew how to bring people together. Many a time was spent hanging out on the front lawn and sharing thoughts. I learned so much from her in the few years I knew her.
25: Military spouses are friends for life. We enter each others' lives at different stages and leave a memory forever. Dawn was one of the best.
26: Fall 2009 Addie and Gehrig, your Mom called you her "2 cute little monkeys" that Halloween. We enjoyed a day with you and your Mom and Dad at Schwanke Farms near Monterey feeding goats, riding go carts, running through corn mazes and having a picnic. Lots of Love, Mike, Krissie, Josh, Katie & Sarah Fowler
27: Sarah's birthday at My Museum in Monterey | Your Mom put on rain coats and boots so you could go play out in the rain with Sarah. | Addie and Sarah playing together in the front yard. | The Twins
28: Addie & Gehrig, There is so much I want to tell you about your mom, some you already know and some you may not but I will share here, one special time in our lives we shared together. One of my fond memories of our time in Monterey and with your family was the library & pizza play dates. Each week, we would meet for Reading Time and a pizza lunch before she took you home for naps. At the library, you would sit on your mom's lap or right in front of her while Emily (and sometimes Jonathan) would sit in the middle of the children gathered around to listen to the librarian read a story or act one out. Sometimes you even helped! After stories, we would go to Pizza my Heart for cheese pizza. She would always make sure your pizza was cut into bite size pieces, your juice cups full, and lots of napkins handy. Once the kids were settled we'd start our meals and chat. I learned so much from your mom during this time. She would talk about all the meals she was whipping up, to the day to day activities you were doing. We also were able to talk about ourselves, not just as moms but as women. The struggles we each had, ones we overcame, and ones we were working on. I never knew how much in common we had until these meals. I am so thankful for the time that God gave us, the food He graced us with, and the friendship that will always be cherished. Thank you for sharing your awesome Mom! Love you, Becky, Justin, Jonathan, & Emily Dowd
29: Monterey: full of good friends and fun!
30: Happy 40th Birthday to Dawn, Gregg, Jason & Dave!! | Addie & Gehrig running in a 3 legged race | Enjoyed the day with a road rally and BBQ with all the neighbors | This party was right after Dawn completed a marathon, her goal that she achieved before she turned 40!
31: With love from the Knoops Family During the 40th birthday party we were tasked with finding/sitting in a Ferrari. This is as close as our group got | Dawn Inspired us to go further in our workout Co-op. 2 Half Marathons later. She was a great friend and an inspiration to all.
33: A day at the spa with the girls. Dawn deserved a day at the spa after all the packing to make her move to Maryland from Monterey. The day was full of good friends and good stories.
34: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss | Your love of learning and your appetite for literature brought us together in our book club in Monterey. I am grateful for the time we had together, discussing life and literature, and I am grateful to have been blessed by your friendship! ~ Jenny Minor
35: Fulfilling a life-long goal of finishing a marathon before turning 40, Dawn inspired a legion of friends to join her. Many continue to run in her memory....
36: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
37: To say that life was the same after we met Dawn would be a severe understatement. Dawn was an inspiration to my family from the moment we met. It didn't take long for Dawn to become a daily part of our world. She offered advice, comfort, strength and laughter at all the appropriate times. Dawn inspired me to be a better mother, friend, chef, and Officer's wife. She quickly became a best friend, mentor, and sister through her unconditional love and support. I admired that no matter what I was going through Dawn had words of wisdom to attribute because she had walked the path I was heading down Dawn challenged us to run our first marathon in 2010. She joked that we didn't have to go fast, we just had to go. Her inspiration to challenge ourselves mentally and physically led to a passion for running for our family. Through her passion she sparked life into ours. I am sure that every mile we run Dawn will be there with us, just as she always has been. There is not a day that goes by that we do not see Dawn here with us Her laughter echoes in that of her children. Her smile is all around. Conversations and memories flood our minds and warm our souls. We are comforted in the fact that "in the end it's not the number of years in your life, but the life in your years." (Abraham Lincoln) Dawn led a remarkable life full of laughter, joy, and friendship. In her time with us on earth she lived the type of life so many can only dream of. We are honored to have been loved by Dawn, and have loved her in return. The Lemanek Family Joe, Megan, and Kaitlyn
38: I don't know why it is, being a photographer, I can only come up with one photo of Dawn. I guess at the time I didn't feel the need to capture those moments sitting in the kitchen watching her prepare food, chatting at parties or simply hanging out. But now that she's gone, I can't believe I only have one photo to remind me of this wonderful woman. But for all of the photos I could have, I'm so very thankful for this precious one. This particular evening was so fun and such a wonderful memory. Neither Dawn or myself was overly excited to attend the Dining Out. Words such as "I'll go if you go" were frequently voiced until we committed our attendance. Much to our surprise, we enjoyed ourselves.... truly enjoyed ourselves. We laughed, we joked-- we ate, we drank and we were merry. It was so wonderful to spend such a nice evening with old friends in a new place. After all of the moves, it was such a gift to be stationed at Fort Meade together. I'm so grateful for those last times we shared. I never would have guessed those would be our final moments, but then I guess nobody ever does. Although I can only contribute one photo to this book, I hope it will remind you of how beautiful she was (and will always be). As I look back over the years that I knew Dawn, I always envision her with a smile on her face. I can hear her laughter and enthusiasm. She was so vivacious and so authentic. They say that as we move through our lives we carry with us attributes of those we have met along the way. From knowing Dawn, I have learned the depth of a mother's love for her children, what it means to be a devoted wife, the value of sustaining friendships, how to open your home with gracious hospitality, how not to take yourself too seriously, and to above all love. You will never be alone. I believe that Dawn will always be there with you, watching over you. And for those times when she feels farther away, you have the love of family and her many friends to keep her spirit alive. Oh the stories we can all tell! Seek us out, we are here for you. We love you. You, and Dawn, will always be in our hearts. Love, Tara, Sven and Nikolas Krauss
39: Navy Dining Out | Annapolis, MD April 2010
40: National Night Out Fort Meade, MD August 3, 2010 Gehrig and Addie with Nikolas Krauss
43: A mother is someone who loves unconditionally and places the needs of her children above her own. -Unknown | Dawn
44: Bon Appetit! | World-Famous Hamentaschen!!! | Chef of the House! While she nourished those who knew her in every sense, her favorite was through food. Dawn's cooking was delicious because every bite was prepared with consideration and love. Crock pot lasagna and Purim Hamentaschen were favorites!
45: First Day of School! September 2011 With Rachel Taylor
46: MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011 May 8, 2011 I heard an odd little story on a comedy station in the car this morning Once upon a time, a young woman put some cream in her butter churn, but she didn't have time to churn it. She took it down to the creek and set it in the water to keep it cool until she could return. Two frogs came along and had the unfortunate luck to hop right into the butter churn. They immediately started kicking to stay afloat and tried mightily to jump out, but they could not. One frog decided the situation was hopeless, so he gave up and drowned. The second frog kept kicking and kicking and kicking, until, at last, his efforts churned the cream into butter, and he was able to hop out. What a happy little moral about not giving up. Still, what was it doing on a comedy station? It seemed random and out of place, but then, I realized this cheesy little story was the perfect metaphor for my life at this moment. I have cancer. I found out last Thursday, when a colonoscopy meant to confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative proctitis instead revealed a tumor. Splash! Into the butter churn I went. I don't know much more than what I've already written here. They found a tumor and sent the biopsy out. The doctor seems to think it's just a formality; he's convinced it's malignant, and I see no reason to doubt him. I'm off to the surgeon tomorrow and hope to have a Pet-CT scan on Tuesday to see if the cancer has metastasized. Then I'll finally learn just how much of my colon I'm going to lose and whether or not chemotherapy is in my future. Until then I am waiting and thinking. This limbo period is a special kind of Hell. My thoughts swing on a wild pendulum ride from one extreme to another. One moment I'm confident it's all going to be ok. I'll come through this stronger and healthier, with a new appreciation for life. The next I'm imagining the worst and thinking of my kids and husband going through life without me. I've also had some strangely humorous thoughts. In the car, moments after getting the news, I couldn't help but think, “Colorectal cancer? You've got to be kidding me! Of all the types of cancer out there, I mean, seriously, I've got butt cancer, why couldn't I get one of the cool cancers?” Gregg and I were cracking up. Then I thought, “If there is a ribbon for butt cancer, it better not be brown!” (A little research determined that the colorectal cancer ribbon is actually blue, but brown is an alternate color). So here I am, a frog in a butter churn – hoping to find some solid footing. Until my next post, I'll just keep kicking.
47: Anonymous Dec 30, 2011 01:38 AM It just breaks my heart knowing that nothing has turned out like it should have. I pray for peace for your family- may they feel your presence and know you walk with them always! Anonymous Dec 30, 2011 08:34 PM I found this blog through a Facebook friend who is related to Gregg. I read every word. Dawn was a brilliant writer, and I believe it would have been an honor to know her. She was funny and honest and I felt like I was reading the words of a friend, and someone who has the same hopes and fears as the rest of us. My heart broke when reading about her kids and her husband and Dawn's hopes for the future. Life is not fair, and cancer is pure hell. But Dawn faced it all with dignity and bravery, and I admire her. Please know that strangers around the world are praying for Gregg and their kids. Rest in peace, sweet angel. | Frog in a Butter Churn | Throughout the ordeal of her diagnosis and treatment, Dawn faced her challenge with good humor, optimism, and grace. Her writing comforted those who knew her personally and inspired those who only knew her through her words.