Dawn (still)

It seemed like a good time to re-post this entry. The details have changed a bit, but then again, it’s all the same. It’s one of the things that I’m glad to be able to repeat. Despite sounding overly sentimental, Dawn is my best friend and — as many of you have astutely noted — she has gone through all of this cancer shit right alongside me every step of the way. Even when she was hundreds of miles away, she has been with me. And it hasn’t been easy for either of us. So, I just wanted to say thank you to her again. It’s been too long since I’ve done so publicly.


This entry is devoted to Dawn.

Her name pops up in many of my posts, for sure, and I pointed out to her the other day that many of you mention her strength and resolve in your comments, but I feel like she deserves a post all her own.

At the moment Dawn is working several different jobs. She works about 30 hours a week as an after-school teacher at a very cool preschool called Preschool of the Arts (PSA); she finished her last weekend as a gift shop employee at American Players Theatre (APT) recently (about an hour commute from Madison), and she is also teaching private flute lessons a couple of days a week at both the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center, and the Aboretum Music School in Waunakee (about a half hour commute). As if that is not enough, she is also taking a 3.5 hour class one night a week at Madison Area Technical College (MATC) as required by her work at PSA.

What else? Oh yeah, she happens to have a husband at home who has cancer and is going through chemo. So, during the first week of my chemo cycles, she rises early with me, and drives me in my larazepam stupor to the oncology clinic to hold my hand while the nurse pokes me with an IV. Then, since I need a way to get home, she will take her bike (which is on a rack on the back of our car) and rides the half hour or so to work at PSA. In the evening, after chasing three and four year old around all afternoon, she rides her bike home. Unless of course we happen to be talking about Mondays, when I always have a treatment, and Dawn teaches at the Fine Arts Center in the evening — then, she will ride her bike from PSA to teach for a couple of hours, and then ride home.

We have started this week to do some of the chemo trips differently, so that Dawn has more down time, but she still comes with me every morning just to hold my hand and talk to me about happy things.

The other night she found the time to cook up a storm too. She has in the last few days made enough Swiss Chard Minestrone, Cauliflower Cheese Soup, and Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu to fill up a starving army.

What can I say? Dawn is priceless. I’m lucky to have her. The last couple of times I went out to APT I just looked around and thanked the stars that the place existed. How would I ever have found my Dawn if I hadn’t on a whim decided to take a job in middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin with such an out of the way (albeit successful) theater?

This is when we all get down on a knee or two and give thanks for Dawn…no, really.


5 Responses to “Dawn (still)”

  1. I really admire Dawn for how she has gone through everything with positive outlook and grace. She’s certainly been an inspiration to me.

  2. Dawn is a rock solid woman; I’m honored to know her. You did good, Mike–the best.

    To Dawn *lifts Diet Coke–the Holy Beverage–in Dawn’s honor*

  3. Stephanie Jutt Says:

    Dawn is easily one of the most adorable creatures on this green earth, and you are the lucky recipient of all that magic and love – lucky for you, Mike! And that she’s turned into such an amazing grown up girl, great in the trenches and still with her head in the stars, is frankly amazing. I’m in awe of you both, and what an artist she is!! Love, Steph

  4. AMEN to the last paragraphs!

  5. A capable wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
    The heart of her husband trust in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
    She does him good, and not harm,
    All the days of her life. (Prov 31:10-12)

    Cherish the wife of your youth! Every day I am thankful that nearly 38 years ago she and I said ‘I do’, and I have been most fortunate and blessed among all men that I know. To this day she is reflective of the very best decision I ever made!

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