It’s about time I wrote something here for you. I’ve learned more about you since you’ve been gone than I’d ever known before. I knew you as a pretty cool kid, an adventurous young man and eventually a really good guy. I now know you as My Hero and a great man. It’s a damn shame that I won’t find out what happens next.
I’ve tried to help out all sides of your family and friends in any way that I can. I don’t have many stories to relate, but relish the ones that are told to me of you. I’ve grown closer to your pops and I appreciate the time we are able to spend together. I join them all in missing you deeply. On a side note, I’ll never eat crab legs again without thinking of you.
The last conversation I had with you still holds true. When we were done golfing the last day you were here, I told you to “keep you head down”. Keep your head down Lane and watch over all of us until we can be with you again. Close
hey lane, i don't know if i've just been really emotional lately because I am pregnant or what, but sometimes I just can't stop crying. We miss you so much. You should be here. Nov 27th would have been your last damn day in the army and you should be home now. Everyone wants to see you, you have been gone too long. We have all your clothes washed and folded and ready for you. (except that Don shrunk your black sweater in the dryer- he was pretty upset about that). Your stuff is still here. Those army green towels we got for the guest bathroom are still waiting for you. We just got some more mail for you yesterday- your cell phone statement and an approval for a new credit card. i just want you to know that I am thinking of you, and maybe I wish you were more of an ass so that I didn't miss you so much. love annie p.s. thanks for the awesome weather the last few days- did you have something to do with that? Close
Hey big brother, just sittin at home looking at pics and listening to some tunes, wishing you were here to join me. Remember all the days hanging out playing cd's and introducing eachother to new music we found and giving eachother a hard time about the correct way to put together a proper compilation disc, music just isn't the same and hits home differently but it still hits. I have been hanging with some of the people in your gang lately and thanks to you letting me always tag along I can call them my friends, (you sure know how to pick em) they have helped me deal and have evan showed me a good time or two. I'm sure one of the things that makes them all so great is there time spent with you. Hopefully having big brothers like YOU and Don I'll grow up one of these days and God willing with your guidence make something of myself.
a year ago... / Lesley (girl)
so it's been exactly one year since you left for iraq. can you believe it? somedays it seems like yesterday and other days it seems like it's been forever.
i remember waking up on that day, just like it was any other morning in fayetteville, but knowing that it wasn't and it would never be the same again. i remember laying on the floor in the bedroom, emptied with only your army green packs remaining. i remember tavy coming in when i was secretly trying to cry letting me know it would be alright. i remember you coming in and i was trying to be so strong for you, for us but you know that i wasn't. i remember driving to post, going so slow because i didn't want you to leave. i remember standing at the trunk of my car, looking around at everyone else doing the same exact thing we were doing, but knowing that no one felt as sad as i did that you were leaving, even though everyone there was feeling the same way... i remember you saying for probably the 100th time to say our goodbyes like ripping off a band-aid...the quicker the better. i remember saying "see you later" with tears falling from my eyes and noticing that my big, tough guy had tears in his eyes too. dont worry, i wont let anyone in on your little secret. i remember our last kiss, the sweetest kiss i have ever had...it rivals only the very first kiss in the stairway at the wedding. i remember driving home with this huge hole in my heart because the best part of my life had just gotten on a plane for another world. i remember you calling me early in the morning just to say i love you and i miss you one last time before leaving the country. i remember the big moments. i remember the feelings and emotions. i remember the littlest details. i remember it all. i'll always remember...
and i still wish to this day, that none of it ever happened. because then you'd still be here. i wouldn't have to dream you, i would have you.
i love you. i miss you. i'll see you tonight in my dreams.
all my love. always. in all ways. Close
Christmas Day / Marti (Mom)
My dearest Lane, I'm listening to the boss sing, from the CD Ryan found, and it's true. You must've inspired him. There is a huge portrait now at City Hall, and much to my surprise, Don, Ryan, Stu, Hatch and Crane were waiting there to view it with me. I couldn't say much but..."WOW" and "Oh, my God". Lane, it takes my breath away. You have inspired so many, in such positive ways, but then again you already know that. Drapes couldn't have said it more clearly, the world is a better place for having you in it, and I know your feelings for family and friends was mutual. Lesley's picture of you standing in front of the Museum in Phila. with the Christmas tree is the only tree I want up this year. It's enough. Please send us all Christmas Blessings, since you now have unlimited access! We need it Lane, some days I get through okay, others I just "hit the wall". I just realized last weekend that it's been 1 entire year since I hugged you last and rubbed that bald noggin! Once again, I'm sending all my love and MANY more hugs, Mom, OOOOOOOOXXOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Close
You Touched So Many!!! / Katie Gundert (Friend)Read >>
You Touched So Many!!! / Katie Gundert (Friend)
Lane, You have been in my thoughts so much lately! I stopped by to visit you on Friday! During that visit it was proven again how many people's lives you have touched. While I was there, I was looking at all of the items people have brought for you. A note in a plastic bag caught my attention. It was from one of my former students. She was very inspired by you when you were pen pals with my class your first tour. You became a hero when you came in to visit our classroom. In the bag she left a hand written note saying you deserve to shine. She asked that everyone who came to visit you light a candle (which she left a bunch) so that you would always shine! She also sold all of her Halloween candy to a local dentist who was mailing it overseas to the soldiers. She told me that they needed and deserved it more than she did! This is a small example of the lives you have touched and how deep your love is. I know you are looking down over everyone this holiday, but my heart still aches every day because you are not here.
Painting called "Medals for my mother" / Patrick Funke (Artist of Painting for Lanes Memory )Read >>
Painting called "Medals for my mother" / Patrick Funke (Artist of Painting for Lanes Memory )
I left a painting for you at city hall today. Your Dad, brother and Uncle Phil were there to see it. I hope you like it and your friends and family come to see it after it get hung. We all hugged and cried and remembered you. You and your mom are painted in color to signify the gift of life and the bond you had together. The painting is called "medals for my mother" to honor you and your service to our country. I am donating the painting to the city so that we will never forget you. I cried after reading your story in May and felt I had to do something to commemorate your life... I hope you like what I did.
hey lane, I've been thinking about you a lot lately. Don and I spent some time in Elyria over Thanksgiving weekend. Your mom came out here over her birthday weekend and we had a good time. Don took her to a Browns vs Ravens game in baltimore and the Browns won!!! (maybe you had something to do with that.) I got to spend all day Friday with her and it was nice to spend time just hanging out and talking. She sure misses you. Is there any way you can pull some strings up there to help her out, or at least get her some more sleep? It is just so strange that you are not here. Sometimes, I forget that you aren't just away in North Carolina or georgia or Iraq. It's tough to realize that you aren't just "away" for the holidays. Last year around this time, you were calling to ask me if I thought your birthday gift to Lesley was too cheesey. You got her that heart necklace and I told you that, yes, it is way too cheesey;but you got it anyway and I don't think she has taken it off since. Christmas is coming up soon and it is not the same. My cousin Bay is collecting stuff with his class at school to send to the troops in Iraq and the list of stuff is just what you would ask for- razors and boxers and deodorant and stuff like that. I'd rather be sending you a package than some stranger, but this weekend, I'm going to get a whole bunch of stuff to send over there. Maybe it will get to one of your buddies. Tomorrow, Don and I are going to have another ultrasound and find out if we are having a girl or boy. We're getting excited. we wish you were here to share this with us and to help us raise a new Tollett. we miss you. your stone at brookdale looks really nice. we took a photo to the guy who did don and ryan's tatoos. he was impressed too. well, I hope you are up there drinking some stroh's and playing golf or celebrating rose's birthday and having some butter soup. I miss you annie Close
veteran's day / Annie
hey lane, Don and I went to a Veteran's Day ceremony thing in Rehoboth today. Don, my mom and dad, Terry, Carl, and Rocky all rode their motorcycles and it is a beautiful day. I never really went to these veteran events before, which makes me feel like a real jerk because it truly is special. There were all these old guys with their VFW hats and jackets and some in uniforms and hobbling with canes. And the old ladies wearing bright red lipstick waving little flags. There was an old army chaplain who said an awesome prayer, that I wish I had written down-- and you know me, I am not that into prayers. They fired the rifles and played "Taps" and we lost it. We really miss you. I think that I understand why you decided to join the military- to be a part of an important struggle of our time, to be a part of an effort to make life better and more peaceful everywhere, to share your own talents and energy with all the young people who were already fighting, and to find meaning in your own life. I respect you and I am proud of you. The speakers today kept saying, "Thank a vet," and "Hug a vet." Thank you. xo, Annie Close
too long / Marti Sparks (Mom)
My dearest Lane, Today has been exactly 6 months since you've been gone. That's just too damn long. I want to leave your poster at Brookdale, but it seems too little or not enough. Nothing seems good enough. Nothing compares to your laugh, your voice, listening to music with you or telling me a good joke. I will keep plugging away though, looking forward to the excitement of your new niece or nephew. I know this is your way of telling us "okay now, let's all get happy." You, of course would use a little more colorful expression, but that's why we all love you! Don & Annie will just have to deal with Uncle Ryan and me spoiling that baby in any way we can! I know this is a tall order, but keep a watch over all of us, family, friends and buddies both here and still over in Iraq. You've got alot of help up there with you now, so check on us in between perfect golf games, and no trash talk--it's not allowed up there! Love, MOM XOOXOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOO XOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOXO OOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOO Close
it's been awhile since i've written. i think that every time i go to write something, it's going to get easier. but it doesnt. in fact, i think it gets harder.
i was in ohio last weekend. marissa and fi had their wedding reception, finally. it's only been months since they have actually been married. but it was a good excuse to see your friends and family again.
you wrote in an email once about how you were excited to introduce me to the rest of your friends and family. and how i should stop worrying about keeping you from them when you were home on leave, because soon enough they would be our friends and our family. i have seen why you love them all, because they are all wonderful and caring people, each and every one of them.
i'm not gonna lie and say the reception was easy. it wasn't. it was a punch in the gut, bittersweet to say the least. i cried for you, i cried for me, i cried for us...i cried because our day won't come, there will be no celebration of our love. all we have talked about and all we have planned will stay in my heart and in my dreams until we meet again.
they played pianoman for you. everyone circled around and laughed and cried and shouted your name. it was more like a football rally than a recpetion, but it was all for you. it's always for you.
i love you. always have. always will.
your love is like the wind. i cant see it, but i can feel it all around me. i hope the leaves are blowing in heaven. Close
The Music Never Ends... / Aunt Candy
Oh, Lane...Had this meltdown last night. I was in a hot bathtub full of cheap dollar store bubbles with a random mix CD on the boom box in the kitchen. The dogs were laying in the hallway and Paul was already asleep. Sometimes life is best in those kinds of moments.
It was a mix CD, one of those collections randomly thrown together of just really good jams...some Blues Travelers, a little old Pearl Jam, Bare Naked Ladies, Rusted Root, a Jerry solo thrown in for good measure...
Damn, we shared so much music, dude. It was more than the noise in the background. Every memory I have of you and us seems to have a soundtrack. Sugar Mag was playing that Thanksgiving party on 6th Street when everyone danced so hard my living floor bowed down in. Bird Song was playing while we hugged in the rain at the Pittsburg show. Free Bird is the soundtrack from our trip with the boys to Cinnci. But Anyways is always playing when I think of your graduation and riding in the white firebird. When I think of your first show with Justin, I can hear and feel the drum circle in my whole body. Lots of memories of you and I singing Skinny and drinking Slamma's. You and me and Stella...can't you hear My Name Is Jonas?
In very many ways, you kept me in the real world by keeping me up with all the best music. Even now, when you are gone, I am learning more about awesome music from your CD collection.
Now, just where the heck am I going to be able to keep up with new music? That was your job, our bargain. I am expecting you to keep up with it, even if your body isn't here. Bring me music, the good songs, the ones that make my heart sing.
I can't quit missing you every day. The songs I sing will always be for you. I know that there is music in heaven...and the jams got better when you arrived. Close
Dedication/ Uncle Glenn
I know you were as proud of Ali as I was playing the National Anthem with E.C.'s band Friday. She wanted it perfect for you. Everyone was wearing your t-shirts and buttons, holding pictures of you. My favorite one missing was the 'Rocky' poster Leslie had made...We love you and miss you bad. Y.F.U.G. Close
As you watch from above....... / Kelly Kudla (Vitovitz) (Friend)
As you watch from above, through the sun, through the stars, through the pouring rain; I know you realize how much you are loved & missed. Day by day you are in people's hearts, thoughts, conversations, prayers and for some still you remain in their tears. Friday night's scoreboard dedication to you at EC turned out to be a wonderful evening of memories and friendships. Saturday night something compelled me to watch the movie "World Trade Center' about the events that took place on 9/11 and I cried through the whole movie up until the last 10 minutes or so. There was this soldier that decided to go into the wreckage of the disaster and try and help save lives after everyone was banned to go in anymore because evening was approaching. This soldier was a Marine, and as the 9/11 disaster was taking place he was sitting in church and he said he was called upon to go on this mission to help save lives and he cut off his hair, packed his things and went right in to the most dangerous parts of the disaster selflessly trying to save people because he felt it was his calling....his duty. This soldier reminded me of you from the moment I saw him and it hit home once again how brave and honorable you are to have fought for so many and laid down your life others could survive. I salute you today...tomorrow...and forever SGT. Lane Tollett! Thank you for your endless gift! Close
Article and pictures from E.C. Dedication / B.J. Huge (Friend)Read >>
Article and pictures from E.C. Dedication / B.J. Huge (Friend)
TMC News (an Elyria based news team) has a nice article and pictures from the Dedication night. Go to http://tmcnews.blogspot.com and scroll down to "Honoring a Friend." At the end of the article you can click on the pictures. I'm sure you all will enjoy.
Cortney and I are always thinkin' about you Lane. We miss you. And Cortney misses rubbing your bald head:)
Last night at your EC dedication / Allison Draper (Friend)Read >>
Last night at your EC dedication / Allison Draper (Friend)
Wasn't your dedication ceremony beautiful! You must have felt so proud! I know we did! I couldn't believe how many of your friends and family were there! A couple hundred!! It was really cool that we all got to wear the same "LT" t-shirts, and pin's with your picture in them. I know you could see the flags and picture frames that people were holding, but you probably couldn't see the heavy hearts all of us wore! I could hear lots of sniffles in the crowd and for many, the tears were still running! It was definitely a coconut in the throat kind-of moment. We all still miss you so much!
Funny....it was so ironic as all of us stood on the field during the ceremony. All these strangers in the crowd were honoring you, but as we stood there watching the crowd and taking in the moment, we were the ones that felt honored. We felt so special standing there, as hundreds of eyes looked down on us...we felt this way because we knew you!
The scoreboard looks awesome by the way! I bet as you played on that field years ago, you never would've thought your name would be up on the big screen one day! Bitter sweet I guess.
Well, just wanted to chat about last night. It was really fun. I know you were there, but not everyone has eyes in the sky! Miss you...
this weekend / Annie (sister-in-law)
Hi Lane! We are all looking forward to this Friday at EC. You will see that you have the best friends and family in the whole world. We know that you will be there with us and you are going to love it! We miss you so much!!! Close
Norm, Ben and I just got back from leave. We finally got it planned so we could go at the same time. We arrived in Portland together and left together. It was bitter sweet being home. Knowing that you and Dembo didnt get to experience it. We suprised everyone, which was great. Ben and I only got to play golf twice, but each time we had your name on the card. You won each time, but there was a couple holes when we just thought it proper to give you a double bogey, sorry. Ben played the worst he ever has in his life; which I thought was funny of course. It was the hardest thing to have to leave everyone again and come back here. We got back after 5 days of travel and finally went on our first patrol for 3 days and it sure was creepy. Only 6 more months of this and then we'll be coming to see you and meet your family. A day doesnt go by that I dont think about you and Dembo and what its like for you guys. Its hard because we really havent got to pay proper respect to you as most have. All I want to do is see where you lay now. We miss you so much and life will forever have a void in it that can never be filled. We love you buddy. Talk to you soon. -Grant
This past weekend. . . . / Trisha McDaniel (Friend)
Matt and I were talking about you tonight. . . we miss you lots!! Did you see Donny dancing over the weekend at Mike's wedding? It was pretty good stuff, that's for sure!
Mike danced like Michael Jackson. . . I didn't know those kind of moves were still around. I am sure you were laughing your ass off as we all were!
so for the last, who knows, days, weeks (everything has lost its time reference) ive been trying to come up with something profound and important to say to you.
i took this new job, in buffalo. yeah i know, buffalo. but atleast its closer to you and that is a good thing. i dont want to but i know you will be SUPER mad at me if i dont do something with my life. i guess grad school and this job is the first step. its such a different step from the ones we were supposed to take in columbus and every minute after that....
so, is that profound or important? i dont really think so because what is these days...
but i realized all i want and need to say is i miss you, and i want you here with me, the way things were supposed to be. this new normal that i am attempting to live in sucks. and as marissa has said to me, i have to do it, but i dont have to like it.
so im letting you know. im doing it for you, im getting up every day even though i dont want to, because i know you want me to. but i dont like, not one bit, not even a little bit, not at all.