Monday, December 29, 2014

A poem for mom

A poem for my mom 
By:  Jessica Tolasky 12-27-14

I  wasn't ready to let you go.
Even though It was just your time. 
I can't get that through my mind.
Because I wasn't ready to let you go.

It wasn't meant to be this way.
I'm so sorry for that dreadful day.
Because It wasn't meant to be this way.

The scene of the bedroom floods through my brain, 
The paramedics just should have came. 
I cry in agony over the pain.
Because it wasn't meant to be this way

I reach out and take you by the hand 
and hold you close as your body goes limp and you slip away 
Because it wasn't meant to be this way 

No I scream, this can not be.
This can not be happening to me. 
Please mom, please please stay
This can not be happening this way

Suddenly in a flash,
The paramedics came in a rush
The sound of my sobs muffle your heart's loss. 
It took a few seconds for your life to end
The paramedics tried but just could not win 
It took a few seconds
 for a life time of pain and sorrow to begin.

Mom, will the tears ever dry?
I ask you this as I wipe my eyes.
You fought so hard, but life took it's toll. 
Time will heal, but I just don't think so

Because I wasn't ready to let you go. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lamb chop

I have had my lamb chop stocking for as long as I can remember. I don't think I got it when I was born, but I don't know any different. It is not Christmas without lamb chop 

I remember begging you to let me put my name on it in glitter. You said no, that it ruins stocking. I said yes that I deserved sparkles. You caved and I got to put Jessica Noel in glitter! 

Yesterday, I smelled lamb chop and it smelled like home. Like you. Like joy and love and Christmas cheer. In my mind, I was back in our apartment and the house was bright but warm with cheer, everything was decorated and it was just so wonderful. A sense of true happiness. 

Then I opened my eyes and was instantly transported back to this place without you. 

I hope you are happy. I hope wherever you are, there was Christmas joy. Maybe where you are, it's like Christmas every single day? (Only you wouldn't have to cook. Lol) 

Over the years, I have also come to know that it doesn't feel like Christmas without my purple macaroni ornament. I made it in kindergarten. I remember we spent three days making it. We all choice a cut out shape and wrote our name on it. I was sad that I didn't get to use the siccors. Then I wrote my name on the back, wrong and they wouldn't let me erase and start over. We did get to punch a hole in the top though. Then we got to glue on macaroni. All different shapes. I chose the shapes that we are with velvet a- our fav. The next day, we got to paint it any color and add sparkles. I picked purple, my fs color and added silver sparkles with a bit of rainbow. The paintbrush was huge in my hand. The next day we added a string and took it home. I was so proud and so were you. And from that day on, it has always hung on our tree. 

I miss you and love you and wish you were here to be cheerful and celebrate with me. But don't worry, I did a good job being merry for the both of us! 

All these years, you always put my Christmas happiness above all else, and now it's my turn to keep that love alive...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A poem for you, mom

The other day I was flipping through stuff and found a journal that belonged to you, mom. There were very few poems, and some cute doodles of trees, houses, and clothes.

They were beautiful poems

 My mom always had a way with words, but me not so much. Poems are hard for me. I remember not being able to write them in forth grade; it was quite distressing to me. But, my mother would sit at the table and marvelous words would flow out of her... it was beautiful.

So, I've decided to write a poem for you.


If Heaven had a Window

By Jessica Tolasky 12-27-14

If heaven had a window, and you granted me a view
I wouldn't waste time searching
I'd only look for you
I'd listen for your laughter
And wait to see your smile
All because I miss
the scent of your shampoo

If Heaven had a window and you granted me a view 
I'd treasure that sweet moment and only be near you 

Here on earth I pray to God to show me signs of you
and every day that passes you're with me in my mind
I wonder if you're happy 
And waiting there for me
I love you and I miss you 
More than words could say 

I hope that you can hear me 
and listen to my thoughts,
and where ever this life takes me you know I've not forgot.
That once upon a time I was blessed and loved its true,
and if heaven had a window 
 I'd only look for you.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Play me some mountain music- feeling peaceful

There are some songs that take you back. They say that smell is the fastest way to spark a memory because the sense of smell goes straight to the brain. But, for me...there are a few songs that spark such strong memories. And I swear, I feel like I am there again. I can taste, smell, and hear everything again...

This morning, sitting on the sofa, Pandora played one of those songs, and I thought of you mom....

Now, in my house growing up, there was no shortage of country music (with my mom), old rock 'n roll (with my uncle Corey, only he preferred to call it classic), popular stuff (you know, N'sync, Alanins morresette, things they played in the clubs, thanks to Uncle Bucky) and finally, Oldies, but goodies (grandma loved, fly me to the moon, and other things by old blue eyes)..... so since I didn't grow up in a music snob household, I should have lots of SONG memories, right?

Well, there are only three that I can think of.... play me some mountain music, just like grandma and grandpa used to play...

1) Tim Mcgraw, "Don't take the Girl": I am almost 7. We lived in the apartment that had the breakfast bar. I was sitting on the bar stool and the sunshine was gleaming through the window. Aunt wanda was next to me, chatting with my mom who is in the kitchen...all about what is cool about living down in TN. Her voice sounds funny now, she's lived there so long that she has an accent. She played me the cassette tape of don't take the girl, and I was sold. That birthday, I got a boom box and his cassette, and I spent every afternoon doing my homework in my room using the little black walnut end table as my desk and memorizing every song.... I was in love. And when I hear this, I turn back into my 7 year old self, and I miss my Aunt Wanda so much.

2) Frank Sinatra. "Fly me to the moon": Every time I hear this, I can see my grandma standing in the livingroom, by the fishtank singing "fly me to the moon". I can smell her. And hear her voice. It's a nice reminder of her, and I love that. Miss you grandma, but your gallywag will always remember you, and i'll work on writing this book.

3) Alabama. "Mountain Music": The first time I ever remember hearing this song is when I was Indiana. Mom and I decided to ride the Shaffer Queen from the Lake, all the way around. The boys at the top deck were blarring this song, and me and mom sung along. I can see her. I remember the sun on my face. I remember that spaghetti strap shirt, and the sunglasses uncle buck let me barrow, and then that giant pimple I had on my forehead. I remember smelling sunscreen. Mom was beautiful, wearing her striped pink blouse. she looked so happy. We had so much fun. And when I heard this song, I was instantly brought back there...

it was fun to have a couple mins in the sun with you mom. I miss you! Later when I find the pictures from this event, I will post them here :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Signs of you

Mom, you always believed in "the other side" and "spirits". We used to joke that we would come back and haunt each other. That we would have a list of all the annoying people in our lives and they would be sorry when we were flicking the lights on and off at midnight while they were sleeping. It was all jokes and giggles. 

I took solace in the fact that I knew grandma would visit because we had a strong connection and she "wouldn't just leave us without any goodbye". I remember the night she visited. I was sleeping and it felt like someone was sitting on the edge of my bed. It was her. She looked different. Younger. Her hair was pinned up in puff, super high and there was a light around her. She was skinnier. She was wearing pin strip pants. That was weird. She always wore sweatpants. 

The next morning, I remember coming to you with my concerns: "she was skinny, is she not eating in Heaven? Why wouldn't God feed her?" and "she was dressed fancy, not grandma. Did some other spirit get lost and sit in my room? Maybe YOU Should sleep in there mom, not me?" 

You laughed and cried at me when I told you. You told me that not to worry. IT WAS GRANDMA. But, "when people go to Heaven, they are in a state of perfect health." So, she looked younger and healthier because she was. You said she visited me because you were too sad and upset to get any of her messages, but she knew I was strong enough to get the message to you. I'm glad.

Below is a picture of you. I wonder how old you were. I wonder where on earth you are in this photo. Why didn't I ever ask you? Did you WANT your hair to look like that or was it a mistake? Have you had me already? Were you in high school? Were you not pregnant yet? There are so many things I never asked. I always figured we would have more time I guess. 

Part of me wishes we would have known you were going to die. Maybe if it wasn't so sudden, we could have planned better. I would have been certain that your final wishes were completed. I would have had time to ask all the right questions. I would be able to hold you and hug you and tell you all the things I should have said. Do you think that makes me a bad daughter? I'm glad it was fast and you didn't suffer much. I would never want that. And that is not what I am saying. I guess if I'm aimlessly wishing for a different thing to happen, I should probably be wishing that you never died in the first place. LOL. 
I wonder if this is what your "HEALTHY heaven spirit" would look like? I hope not for fashion's sake, and because I would NEVER be able to recognize  you in heaven.
We used to watch Practical Magic and every time the broom dropped, you used to say, "I promise to leave you signs when I go" and we would laugh. 

Well mom, the broom never fell. 

Last night, I read an article by Silvia Brown, you loved her. She said, our loved ones leave all sorts of signs: (1) they visit in dreams (2) they touch you or sit next to you and you will feel their presence (3) you smell their fragrance (4) you hear their voice (5) Animals will do weird things, like black crows are a big sign (6) they will put objects that have meaning in your path.....there was more, but I forget. 

Once I was dreaming and I thought I felt you. But, I couldn't be sure. I wait to see you in my dreams, but you never really come. Have you forgotten about me? 

None of these signs have really happen to me. And I thought our bond would conquer everything. That we had a connection better than any other mother/daughter pair. So where the heck are you mom???????? Put down the sufflebaord, or the drinks. or whatever you are doing up there. Step away from grandma and Kelly and get down here and visit your daughter!!!!! STAT. 

My current biggest fear is that I will forget you. That I AM forgetting stuff right now. What if I can't tell my kids? What if I don't have kids and your legacyc dies with me? that's so sad. Why couldn't you have kept a diary or wrote me letters, why couldn't we just have more time? 

I will make sure I pay attention to the signs. I'll be waiting mom. I love you and miss you. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Night will come

When I was little (well 5th grade), we had to learn a lullaby from another culture. Now, I forget what culture I chose, but it was a song I learned in chorus, so I used that one.

You loved it! And sometimes when I couldn't fall asleep, or I had a bad dream, we would sing it. 

You used to leave messages on the house phone for me with it. When I went away to camp for the first time, you told me to, " look up at the moon and say I love you, mom" and at that exact time, she would do the same, and since we were looking at the same moon, she would feel my love and I would feel hers. 

That camping trip, I used the voice recorder you bought me for my history project and sang the lullabye to you. I think you appreciated that...

So, today, this is for you, mom!!!!!

Soon night will come 
Following the sun 
Sounds of the night growing near
Here the winds whispering 
Whispering to you
Sleep sleep sleep 
Goodnight my sweet one 
Goodnight my dear one 
Good night my sweet one
To you, good night! 

Mommy & Jessie First Photo

Friday, November 14, 2014

Snow :)

" Heaven is at the feet of Mothers" -Persian Proverb

Pictures of Kokomo, Indiana where great grandma Kerby lived 

Mom and I sure loved snow. It doesn't snow very often in Baltimore, but when it did, we enjoyed the magic of it. The smell of snow in the air always made you happy mom...and it made me happy too :) 

Here is a picture of the snow at my house in Erie, PA today! 

As I sit here and watch the gentle snowflakes fall, I will think of you mom. Maybe it's a sign from heaven that you are thinking of me too. 

Lalalalala lala lala means.... I love you! I love u mom

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


" Don't Poets know it better than others, God can't be everywhere always, so He invented Mothers" - Sir Edward Arnold 
My mother always did her best to be there for my every need. But, not just me-she was always there for my uncles, aunts, cousins, and her mom (my grandma). She bailed family members out countless times. On this particular day (image above), we were staying at the Riviera in Indiana while visiting my Great Grandma. On this visit, we stayed in the Captin's House right across the street from the convenient store, where we gorged ourselves on chick-o sticks all summer long. This was a good day because mom and I walked down to the porch swing at the Lake and watched the water until the sun set. It got chilly and she snuggled close to me to keep warm. We talked and talked. 

I miss our talks. I miss your voice. I feel like I may be forgetting all kinds of things about you. Before you died, it wasn't a struggle to recall anything. But, now, that I can't just run to you with any little question, I am charged with remembering. 

Your voice was sweet and loving. It had a rusty quality. it was beautiful.... 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Disassembled & Rearranged

Five years ago, November 8, 2009 to be specific, many things happened. It was the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall; The Healthcare Reform bill passed in the U.S. House of Reps; People were preparing for the upcoming Veteran's Day; and the News reported on a girl that had lachanophobia- a fear of all vegetables (yea, her and every other child in the U.S.)So many things happened that day... But, five years ago, one of the most important things happened, the world lost Anne Marie Payne: a great sister, my best friend, and my wonderful mother. She was completely selfless in everything that she did. She sacrificed her life, happiness, and love in order to be the most successful and best mother I could have ever asked for. As a child, I never "needed" for anything. My mother worked tirelessly to make sure that my needs were always wanted. And you know, as a single mom, she was both the mother and the father and she did a good job at it. I never knew that I was missing anyone because I was so surrounded by love and joy and values- my family. In fact, it wasn't until I was at least 9 that I realized I didn't have a dad. Myself and little Corey had been throwing the basketball outback at our tree all night and we came in because the mosquitos were through feasting on our ankles and exposed arms. The only light we had was lightening bugs... we were washing up, and we sat next to grandma on the couch, discussing what my Uncle Corey was going to do with the boys and myself the next morning. My grandma mentioned he was what a dad should be. He was better than my dad ever could be because he was present. And shocked, little Corey looked up, "Jessie has a dad?" and we all laughed. We laughed so hard that there were tears in our eyes, and little Corey was just so confused. My mom had done such a terrific job with me, and our whole family that I had never even wanted for my dad. I never wondered what he was doing, or if he was thinking about me. I didn't need him for anything- EVER. Yes, there was that ONE moment that he and my mom made me. But, after that one moment, my mother was transformed into a parent, a caretaker, a loving boo-boo fixer, a chef, a chauffer, an ATM, a personal assistant, a tutor, a santa, a disciplinarian, and a woman of strength, courage, and integrity. And after that moment, my so-called "father", was just the same as he ever was, he was a selfish teenager. So, I owe everything to my mother. I could never imagine life without her, and I didn't think I would ever have to endure this for a very long time. Parents shouldn't die until there children are very old, and have become the parent themselves. But, Alas for the last five years, I had to suffer through life without you, mom. I think God knew he was ready for someone amazing in heaven, and I think my mom did her job so well that God (and my mom) knew that I would make it, that she raised me strong, and taught me how to be the wonderful woman I am right at this moment. So five years ago, my life was disassembled and the little shattered pieces of my heart were rearranged. I have been strong, I haven't quit yet, even though I miss you so much. There is still a piece of my heart that will always be missing because I gave it to my mother a long time ago.... As I fill this blog with memories of my mother, and how much her life means to me, I feel like those pieces slowly mend back together. So, five years ago, I lost my mother, MY life was forever changed. But, I want the whole World to know that they lost something that night too, They lost a strong, beautiful, amazing woman. I think the universe has heard me. I think it knows what it lost, because as I sit here crying, remembering the joy in my mother's eyes and how vivacious she was...the previously sunny skies have opened and rain is pouring. The universe is weeping and so am I. We all miss you mom.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I'm changing. Little by little each day, I am changing and you aren't here to see it. 

I like hockey now. I went to my first game tonight with my neighbor. It was great. I got to yell and shout and be compettative. I wish you were here to share it with me. I wish you could see te person I'm growing up to be. 

I miss you more everyday 

I also like avacado now 
I eat my steak medium, I like the pink
I still love onions
I enjoy exercising now, and I like to run. I can't jog for about half a mile now
I can drive. I don't have my liscence yet, but I can do it. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It can't happen to me

One minute you're going about life; making plans for the future. And the next minute you are blindsided and you're whole world crumbles, like a cheap cookie in milk. 

I never imagined it would happen to me. You see bad things happen on the news, you see it on TV and you think, "what did those people do wrong that it's happening to them?" You never in your wildest dream think it will happen to you. You think, " not my family, not me". Your denial or Ignorance is your security blanket that you hold tight. 

That night, THE night,  my worst nightmere came true. And it happened to me. 

I miss you so much mom and I'm not mad that you left me anymore. I'm glad that you taught me well, sacrificed everything to give me the amazing like we had together. I'm glad I had you-even if out time was cut short. I love you always always

I used to say, "I'd give anything to just go to medical school and be a doctor". Now I wish I never had said that. Because i would much rather give up being a doctor to be with you again. So...I'm just gonna let life happen. What happens, happens. But I won't be that blind kid anymore. It could happen to me. It did happen to me. Could it hAppen to you? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy birthday!

Last week was your birthday. 

I wanted to do something to celebrate your life. But I couldn't figure it out. 

I wanted to go to NY and do all the things You used to talk about. do all the things grandma did with u. I wanted to go to serendipidity's and share mammoth icecream sundaes. I wanted to go to the MET and see starry night. I wanted to be happy, but most of all, I wanted to do anything WITH you :( 

I love you always always and forever and ever. I love you MORE the mostest to infinity and back (I win!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Has it really been ten years?

Yesterday, was my grams' birthday. And I remembered, all those years I spent at the table hand drawing the perfect flower to put on my grandma's birthday card. Or, me and little Corey raiding the closet for gadgets, scraps of fabric, anything we could use to make the newest birthday creation. Our imagination was limitless...and I think that was because our love was limitless. We LOVED grandma, mom, and our whole family sooooo much, that the best way we could exemplify that would be to create something cool for that person. 

I can't believe it has been 10 years since I've created something for you grandma! 

Memory #1: I remember cleaning out the bottom of the cabinet and finding a little wardrobe made out of brown paint, cardboard, and beads. The doors were hot glued on and , it opened to reveal a red interior with little golden swirls and dots to look Asian (my grams' loved Asian stuff and would scour the thrift stores to fill our apt with Asian crap) and it had school pictures of  little Corey, Cody and myself. With the inscription "we love you grandma" 

I can't believe it's been ten years. Thank you for always making my birthdays great grandma! I think today, I shall make this painting in your memory, cus afterall, it was your birthday yesterday. So, this is for you grandma :) love your Gallywag