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.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Sweetheart

To Polly,

Heidi, Larry, Dad, Mom and all of Polly's friends,

It is very difficult for me to speak in a public format of my late sister. My challenge is to get up every day and realize that Polly is no longer a part of my life. My connection with Polly was something that I cannot put into words. Polly was a part of my life from the beginning-along with Heidi and Larry-since I can remember what family was all about. Her death is something that I have yet to come to terms with.

By speaking publicly of Polly's accident I feel that it is confirming her death and thereby forcing me to realize the unspoken truth. Polly is gone. My baby sister. I cannot realize that. I do not want to accept the truth. It is not right and it is tremendously unfair to rob such a beautiful and talented women of her long life.. It is also unfair and not right for our family to endure yet another struggle. Mary Beth and Clare should never endure the pain they have now. You know I love you both tremendously.

There are a billion of cute, classic, heartwarming stories that I could tell of Polly, but there is one that I will share with you right here right now:

We were at the Berry Road house back in the summer of 1987 and I had just graduated from Pioneer in Ann Arbor on my way to college at Colorado State University. Heidi and Larry had since left the house so Polly and I were the last of the clan at the Berry Rd. Polly was maturing through junior high at Clague and going through her own adolescent struggles. I remember coming home one night after work that summer and seeing Polly hanging out in her room next to mine (I think she was practicing the flute) This was just before I was due to go to Fort Collins for college. Polly said, "You're not leaving, are you? Don't leave me here all alone. I don't know what I'll do without you here."

Chris Tolonen


Anonymous said...

I remember that summer well; it was a very hard transition for her. She loved it when her big brothers were home.

Polly was very proud of her siblings - I knew that from early days.


Chris Tolonen said...

Thanks, Julie

It was a crazy time for all of us, going through those transitions and such. Polly adapted well at Huron and then to Grand Valley. Those were some good years for Polly for sure. I remember some frantic phone calls early on at GVS. College life and all. She fit in quickly with her sorority (alpha omnicron pi) and such.