This is a place to celebrate the life of Polly Tolonen. A young woman who lived her life with beauty, grace, talent and boundless energy. May she continue to inspire us and live in our hearts and memories forever.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

my sister, my love

If anyone saw Oprah yesterday (10/28), then I hope you were touched as much as I was with this song and amazing performance. The only problem was that I couldn't help giggling through my tears as I remembered hearing about and later seeing pictures of Polly dressed up like Celine on Halloween....

PS. The song is too long to download here. If you get the chance go to and enter 'celine dion sings my love' into the search browser -- you won't be sorry. Polly would love this and you will think of her....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not a day goes by...

That I am not somehow reminded of her. Yesterday I was working (I work as a receptionist for a small hair salon part-time). There was only one person getting her hair cut and I was doing some cleaning. We had both doors open to get a breeze going. Then I hear "Hi puppy" I turn around and a small Jack Russell dog had come in on its own and just sat there staring at us. Then it left. I went outside after the dog and realized that there was no owner near it. I went up to the dog and looked for a collar, only to find one without any tags on it. The dog was very docile but obviously was walking around aimlessly as if it was lost. I had one of my co-workers hold onto it while I started going door to door in the neighborhood asking if anyone knew whose dog this was. I went up to this house and knocked on the door, waited until a woman answered and she she said "Yes?" I asked her if she had a white dog or does she know whose dog this is. She was puzzled and went over to the dog (who was being held at this point very contently) The woman said "Oh, she's my dog, How on earth did she get out?" "Where did you find her?" We handed the dog over to the very relieved owner and asked her what the dog's name was. She looked at me and said "Polly, her name is Polly"


Sunday, October 19, 2008

an emotional day

While I was still asleep Eavan came running into my room to inform me that "the tooth fairy didn't come last night!" oh shit....! While I was sitting there trying to make some excuse as to the tooth fairy's shortcomings, I noticed that once again my girl was missing lashes from both of her eyes. As I questioned her trying to determine if this behavior was the result of an underlying emotional problem, I couldn't help but wonder if she's still trying to deal with the death of her aunt. Shortly after that she showed up weeping because her sucker fish had died. This aquarium and the fish in it were given to her from Nick's girlfriend, Rachel, whom Eavan totally adores and the sucker fish had been her favorite. Never have I seen her cry and cry like that and all I could do was hold her and cry with her. We made it better by going to LibbyLu and finding a way cute Halloween costume. After that we went and saw The Secret Lives of Bees and once again we were both sobbing and holding each other. I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but there was a part that hit very close to home for us. When we got home I called my brother back and once again I ended up getting upset. I watched two of my favorite shows - Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters and once again ....tears-a-flowin. The latter reminded me of how volatile these relationships are and can be but also how truly special. I'm just sad.....:(

Friday, October 17, 2008

The night at Genghis Cohen

One of the last times I saw Polly was my show at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles on April 11th, 2008.  I was playing with a band that came down from Portland, OR to play two shows.  One at Genghis Cohen, the other at Molly Malones.  This was an important couple of dates for Polly as she assured me she would be at both shows.  She even cleaned up her tiny apartment and made arrangements for herself to sleep somewhere else so that part of the band could spend the night at her place.
It was about show time (I had driven in a van many hours to get to LA and I was exhausted) Polly was on my mind as I was expecting her to sit in the front row and cheer and yelp like she did maybe even saying "play Fine"  her favorite song of mine or shouting a Woo-hoo and I would say back "thanks Dad" to the audience for a chuckle.
As I hit the stage and started playing the show I realized I hadn't seen Polly yet.  My nerves and excitement for the show got me through and after my last song I packed my guitar and gear up.
As the band made their way in to the lobby/bar area to say hi to people afterwards, the front door comes flailing open.  It's Polly- standing there with windblown hair, red-cheeks and she looks me straight in the face and says "I'm sorry I was at the Dodgers game and I couldn't remember where I parked my car.  I spent almost an hour looking for it knowing the whole time I was missing more minutes of your show."  We stared at each other for a second and then she said very excitedly "so, what are we drinking?"  A hug later and no more apologies were ever brought up.  We ended up going to a party in Santa Monica that night and spending most of the night catching up.  I even played an impromptu concert for her.
I love telling this story because it is so Polly.  Don't get stuck on the negatives or the what-ifs but just live for today and for the now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A place for us all to post

I wanted to start this blog for Polly.  My friend, my L.A. sister.  There are so many days and moments that I think of her and always with a smile.  Polly and I laughed more than anything else.  I want to be able to share and have others share stories, memories and video of her wonderful life.  Polly touched so many people in her time here and I want to be able to have a place were we can all post memories, stories, thoughts, videos...all things Polly.