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.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Polly planned a trip home to visit friends and family, around Fall of 2000. She asked me for the tapes of our trip to the Grand Canyon, to show everyone who she was spending her time with in Los Angeles. I didn't want to put everybody through the agony of having to sit and watch hours of footage of someone else's 'family slideshow'. I kept putting her off, thinking Polly would forget and the Michiganders would be spared. Polly didn't forget.... Sooo, the night before her trip, I sat down with a 6-pack, in my cramped koreatown apartment, and tried to make the tapes interesting enough for others to watch. I forgot the exact point of the tape around beer #5, and instead started creating a tape that would show Polly how I felt about her.
Before Polly and I started dating, it began to look like we weren't going  to figure out how to get together.  We were sorta stumbling along as friends.  I felt like we were running out of time.  I remember standing in my mother's living room, one afternoon, listening to this song (which was the most beautiful  I'd heard), pleading, through my tears, with God.  "this is the last woman I intend to date.  Please help me."
When I dropped Polly off at the airport, I gave her a few tapes to show everyone.  I edited, at breakneck speed, a few of our different trips and gave her copies of each.  I didn't tell her what was on them, just that these were the tapes she has asked for.  When she returned, she smiled and hugged me, and said, "Thank you".  She had written on the tape I'm uploading, "My Favorite".  So, this one is called 'Polly's Favorite'.  

In the daydream moments, thinking about our futures, I wondered if we would someday get married.  If we do, I laughed, I hope we dance to that song.  
I really miss you, babe.


Chandra said...

That was a beautiful message and a great video, Polly looked so happy. I fell in love with that song and his voice when I lived on Maui... Hope you're well.


lala said...

Thanks so much for posting Frank. This was a treasure. That shot of her overlooking the Grand Canyon is really beautiful. Do you have more footage of that? The last image I have of my wedding while driving to the airport was of you and Polly pulled over to the side of the road fixing the surfboard on top of your rental car. I was so happy, I told Gregg it felt like a dream. Having you all there. Anyways, really nice to see and hear from you here.

Just me, Heid said...

Frank, I don't even know what to say....thank you

Mom said...

Frank, dear wonderful Frank, you truly have a special touch showing Polly's spirit and very simply and quietly showing us who she was. I gasped out loud the moment her face was shown in close up. She was right here with me! There you are precariously climbing sideways on a ledge you could have fallen from at any moment! Then Polly walks by, showing you are inches from the ground being filmed with the camera turned. Very funny! You were obviously God's choice for each other. When Polly called me and said the words "Frank and I broke up." She sounded so sad. When I asked her "What happened?" She said very succinctly, "He doesn't want to marry me." I'm sure there were other explanations for others, but really, this cut through all the details and said what her heart concluded. When couples have been together as long as you two had, it's the time when the "warts" are more visible, the day to day irritations become the only focus, and separating seems to be the only answer. This is the time if you're married and have children, that hopefully both can agree to see a counselor and work their differences out. Clearly she still loved you. She told me about a year after you separated that she "finally called Frank to get together to give some of his things back". She told me you brought Puppy with you. I asked her how that was for her. She said "It was good. I never could have done it sooner though." You too were as close in your hearts as any "married" couple could be. The spirits of the children you would have had exist on a higher level. You wear your love for her so clearly, Frank. My friend Larry could feel it from you. Thank you more than I can say for cherishing her and filling her life with your love and your family. She loved your Mom and StepDad, your Dad and always your sisters and their children. Clearly, they loved her too. Everytime I witnessed you with her, I was so touched by your tenderness for Polly. I mentioned to Lew when you two stayed at the house how sweet it was to see you tenderly kiss Polly on her temple. Thank you, Frank. I love you. Mary Beth