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The Hubbie Awards and the Death of Mary Craig

Updated on October 20, 2016

First Intentions

For the past five weeks I have intended to write this article, a note of sorts, to the HubPages community for voting me, once again, the Best All-Around Hubber. Four years in a row is a bit humbling and it calls for, at the very least, some sort of online thanks and reflection.

What has prevented me from writing this note of thanks is the fact that, truthfully, I don’t know what the award means. Best All-Around Hubber? Does that mean people think I’m a good writer? Does it mean they think I’m a good guy? Does it simply mean I have a lot of cool friends and they feel like I should get something for doing whatever, just because they like me?

I was confused by it all, and the fact that I’ve won it four years in a row just added to my confusion. There aren’t that many Hubbers still active this year who were also active four years ago, so that means a whole new group of Hubbers voted for me, and for the life of me, I don’t know what to make of it all.

And then Mary Craig died and I realized the importance of the award.

Mary Craig
Mary Craig | Source

Who Was Mary Craig?

Mary Craig was known on HubPages as Tillsontitan. When I first joined HubPages, about five years ago, Mary commented on my second hub. That was over eleven-hundred hubs ago, and she was a faithful commenter and friend up until five weeks ago when cancer sapped her of her strength and made commenting on hubs impossible. The last time I heard from her was an email telling me she had voted for me for the Hubbie Awards and she appreciated our friendship. She said, “Bill, you are the heart and soul of HubPages, and you deserve that award.”

And now she is dead, and I’m left with memories.

Mary had an infectious sense of humor. Take one look at her on her HubPages profile picture and you’ll see the truth in my statement. Take one look at her smiling on Facebook while she lay on her bed, shrunken and weak from the disease, and you’ll understand why I write this article now.

She was a quality human being who genuinely cared for others.

I never met her and yet I loved her.

And that’s really the whole point of this article. That's really the whole frigging reason why I'm still hanging around the hallowed halls of HubPages.

They Come and They Go

I was looking at some of the other names of people who commented on that second article of mine. There were quite a few, but only about ten are still here on HP. They come and they go. The changes to the site have been many over those five years, but the most important change that I have seen, and the one that causes me so much sadness, is the fact that very few newcomers to HubPages embrace it the way we did five years ago.

I have said, often, that if it were not for the early encouragement of people like Mary Craig, I would have quit writing five years ago. I never would have written the last five novellas or the last four novels, and I certainly wouldn’t have written the other eleven-hundred articles and short stories. I had zero confidence in my writing abilities and it took kind words of affirmation from Mary and others to keep me going during those early times.

And HubPages was overflowing with that kind of support early on. It was really a very cool place to be in those days.

But they come and they go!

Today I get a lot of friend requests from people who send out hundreds of friend requests and then never once comment on an article. After the initial friend request they are never heard from again. They publish their articles and do nothing to support others. HubPages is becoming more of a money-making machine and less of a community of writers.

And yes, I find that sad, and with the passing of Mary, one more of the old-timers who really understood the early value of HP is gone. I just wish I could find some way to explain to those writers that the support of good friends is much more important than a few pennies of supplemental income.

Mary Craig
Mary Craig | Source
Thank you, Mary!
Thank you, Mary! | Source

I Should Be Gone By Now

I’ve had other writers ask me why I stay with HP. It’s not like I don’t have other things to do. I have novels to write and a freelance writing business to run. I have an urban farm that requires more and more of my time. What in the world am I doing still haunting the halls of HubPages, they ask?

The answer is really very simple, and it took Mary’s passing to help me realize it.

I love being a member of a peer group where support and admiration are more important than making a supplemental income. True, the peer group is shrinking in numbers, but still, there are a few of us still kicking around, and that’s all that matters to me. Mary understood that. HP was never about money to her; it was all about the human connections, and perhaps that’s why she and I hit it off so well. And if Mary felt I deserved the Hubbie Award then that award, and the three previous awards, are very important to me.

There is still hope at HubPages.

I’ve seen a few newcomers enter the fray and pick up the torch. They understand what “follow” means, and they faithfully comment, and a few of them have even become good online friends of mine . . . and that’s encouraging. I hope to see more in the months to come. I hope to see more, like Mary, take her place. I hope to see the HP staff embrace the concept of peer support and community.

If, as Mary said, I really am “the heart and soul of HubPages,” then I am sending out a call to action to all who read this. Please don’t let HP lose that sense of community. I think it is vitally important for all writers to have support from their peers, and to give the same support to their peers.

And during these crazy times here on Earth, when the violence and the apathy threaten to wipe away all goodness, I think we all need more people like Mary Craig.

I will miss her.

But I will not forget her.

I still don’t know what it means to be the “Best All-Around Hubber,” but if it was important to Mary then I cherish the award. Thank you, Mary, and thank you to all who voted for me.

And a final note to the HP staff: A note, by you, to Mary's family, would be a nice gesture and the very least you could do for all that Mary gave to this community. It would be the "human" thing to do. Just a suggestion, HP! Are you listening? Hello?????

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Mary's writing studio in the sky
Mary's writing studio in the sky | Source

Comments

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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 9 months ago from North-East UK

      Bill - a touching tribute to Mary and as always, you're right on the nose about our friends on this site. You're so right about the community spirit. Admittedly, I'm a rare hubber now (life took a few odd turns but I'll be back I hope!) but still talk to others about the many good friends I met on this site. Mary liked to laugh and make us laugh and she'll be a huge miss. You just keep doing what you're doing, you're the glue that keeps us sticking together :)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful and heart touching hub! You have poured out your heart and I completely agree and endorse your feelings towards Mary and towards HubPages.

      We are here and keep coming back because of the bond we share at this wonderful HP community. It is not the same as it was earlier but let us hope for the best.

      We writers have not met or seen each other but there is definitely a strong bond of understanding and love.

      I really feel sad that we have lost some wonderful human beings and inspiring authors.

      Thanks for writing this hub that echoes the feelings of many fellow hubbers including mine!

      Regarding your Hubbie award, I agree with Mary's view. You have kept the interest alive and the HP united. You are inspirational to the writers whether old or new and that's a fact.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you are a prime example of the spirit of this hub. You are a friend. We may never meet but I know about your family, I care about you....that is friendship and I cherish it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan. I hope this community always sticks together and continues to support each other, and I thank you for being part of my community. You are appreciated.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      What a fitting tribute to Mary and to all of those here who remember the sense of community we used to have. Some of that is still here, evidenced by your fine words today about what it means to be Best All-Around Hubber and loyal follower. Thanks, Bill, for this reminder of what we need most in our writing friends - a sense of loyalty, community and encouragement as we build our skills. And yes, I never met her but I loved her, too.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Had to wait a little while before I could comment, Bro. Had to pull myself together and dry the tears fillings my eyes.

      Newcomers, I sincerely hope you take Bill's message to heart. How do I know he's so very accurate & astute about this wonderful writer's site & those of us who've lived within for several years?

      Because~~about our Mary? ("Tillie") I needn't say another word. Bill knows exactly what I'm feeling. He knows my heart, my sadness & my resolve to honor Mary's life & the sweet friendship we had. Bill knows because I know the very same things about him~~without saying a word...................Think about the beauty of that. Peace, Paula

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 9 months ago from Chicago Area

      I am so sorry to hear about Mary! She was definitely a recognized member of our community and got it right when she said you are the "heart and soul" of HP. Thank you for commemorating Mary's passing... and for your leadership!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 9 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill lovely and wonderful tribute to, Mary. I saw on Facebook that she had left us too soon, but just humbled that I did get to know her in my own earlier days on Hubpages. That said, I truly don't think I will ever be forgetting her anytime soon and also appreciate the reminder why we wrote on her, as well as why we need a community of writers, too. Thanks Bill always.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      Just sad. Don't know what else to say.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg! You all are my extended family, and I care about all of you...and how wonderful is that?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I still have tears in my eyes. Strange that the death of a "stranger" would affect me like this, but then Mary really wasn't a "stranger." And that's the beauty of this thing called life. We all can reach out and touch others, and my God I love this community.

      Thank you dear Sis! Now let's live life to the friggin fullest!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, every single day is my pleasure. Thank you for being a contributing member of this community...and for being my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, when I went back to see how early Mary commented on my earlier hubs, another name was right there among the comments....yours! Enough said, I think. :) Thank you for being my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is, Larry, and I think you said it all. Thank you!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 9 months ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for wrting this, Bill. I got to know Mary when I became a part of the apprentice program. Her unwavering support was helpful and fun. I will never watch the academy awards without thinking of her!

      I do want to comment on the old days, too. You, Bill, were the commenter who welcomed and "mentored" me after my 2nd hub. I will never forget the advice you sent me in that email and have always been grateful. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm really glad I could help, Randi. I was just giving back that which was freely given to me, and I'm so happy you became an active member of this community. Thank you for all that you've given to me.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 9 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh Bill what a perfect tribute to Mary. I'll miss her dearly. Thank you so much for writing this hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you're the best model hubber in my book--excellent writing, helpful topics, good organization, regular commentary and all else good. That's why you deserve the award.

      This tribute to Mary is an example of how caring you are, and you touch us all with your depth of expression. I love you, Buddy!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 9 months ago

      Bill, I can attest to the fact that if you did leave HP you would be sorely missed by many. Your right, they come and they go but that is life.

      I no longer write for HP but I hang around to follow the friends I have made over the last six years.

      You are one of the best my friend.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 9 months ago from Northern California, USA

      This is a wonderful tribute to Mary. When I first joined HubPages, you and Mary were quick to welcome me to the community. Those welcoming words are what encouraged me to stay with HubPages and I am glad I did. It was super fun back then and I enjoyed visiting HubPages as part of my daily routine. The community has changed over the years and now I only visit every now and then. I still enjoy my time here because of the familiar faces and the love that comes from the long-timers. Thank you for writing this hub. I knew Mary as Tillsontitan. She is surely missed by a lot of people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Susan. I have no doubt she is missing you as well. That's what it's like in a community.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you. Dora, and thanks for the "buddy" at the end. You are a friend of mine, and I cherish that friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Here's the thing, Mike. If I went to Arizona on vacation, part of that vacation would be a detour to your area, with the express purpose of seeing you and have a long conversation. That's what HP means to me...friendships with good people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I think, sometimes, we don't know just how many gifts we've been given. I wake up and I wonder, during the day, how my HP friends are doing. I'll see something you write on Facebook, or someone else will publish a Hub, and I smile and I'm happy to have heard from my "family" that day.

      So thank you for being "family."

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      Wonderful tribute to our lovely Mary. and I for one am going to miss her so much. and yes you are so right, we need to stay faithful to the point of hubpages, and not just join, click a button and never be part of it. I love all the friends that I have made on here, and mary was one of the main 20 or so that I keep reading and keeping in touch with. you of course are another one Bill, and yes its people like you that keeps us together, so you deserve all the accolades too. x

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell, and I feel the same way about you, dear friend. I love that you make me laugh daily, and that you care so much about people. Keep being you, my friend.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 9 months ago from Iowa

      Hi Bill. What a lovely tribute to Mary. I am not very active on HP anymore, but still lurk around occasionally (and even publish an article every once in a great while). While I don't spend as much time here as I used to, I will be forever grateful for the many great friendships I have made here, yours included. Congratulations on your well-deserved award.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 9 months ago from Central Virginia

      Kindred, I can only imagine what Mary would say about this hub. i can tell you what I think though. You did her proud my friend. I don't write hardly at all now due to my lost eyesight and honestly, I don't read much either. It is just too challenging. But, I couldn't pass this one up. With zoom and the windows magnifier I read every word. I laughed and I cried. You brought back so many memories of those days when I was trying so hard to emulate you. Sometimes those daily hubs were a real challenge because you not only inspired me to write a lot, you inspired me to write well. I didn't consider myself much ore than a wannabee writer. Mary was also one of the first hubbers to comment on my first hubs. You, of course, were the very first. Mary was so right. You indeed deserved the award for each of those four years. You were/are the soul of HP. So, thank you for being there for all of us and thank you for reminding us of all the lovely qualities of our Mary. She will be missed sorely. Love you my kindred friend. Maybe I'll be back one day when the technology makes it a little less challenging. I'd love to prove that yours and Mary's efforts were not wasted on me.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, I'm glad you received the email from Mary, perhaps now, you will believe how much you are appreciated and deserving of the award. Who else comes to our aid when we ask a question. I remember when I first started writing on HP, soon to be 7 years, I needed so much help with everything but mostly tech. stuff. I have a folder full of emails from Mike Friedman on how to put a video on, how to highlight a word to make it blue to click on, and the list goes on and on. I'm sure you've emailed many with the same kind of information. So be happy with your Hubbie awards. Those of us who voted for you meant it...Hugs.. Mary and I followed each other. She was a wonderful writer and a friend. I will repeat what I said on her hub, when all cancer therapy has been given and still the cancer grows, it is a blessing to be finally pain-free and with God in heaven. I believe that with every fiber of my being...

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 9 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Thank you for this lovely tribute to Mary. Life is so fragile and too often it seems that the good die long before they should.

      I can't think of a more deserving person than you for that award Billy. What does matter to me and I think most people here is that you remain a constant, one who is always willing to share valuable time with writers here including me, even though I know you will never do a felting tutorial in your lifetime. That speaks volumes.

      Thank you for that.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 9 months ago from TEXAS

      Thank you for this, Bill, at many levels. I was unaware that Mary had a serious health problem. Seems impossible that she's gone. It saddens me greatly.

      Working together on the aging series here on Hubpages a few years ago, though I didn't know her well, I became very fond of Mary. Her posts and comments were refreshing. In fact, she seemed so fresh, vital and young, it's truly surprising that she's gone. I'm so sad about the loss to all of us. Rest in peace, dear Mary.

      I'm most sad and empathetic with several commenters here who obviously knew her much better. I'm especially empathetic with your heart-felt comments, Paula. It touches my heart, having outlived almost all my life-long friends and all my natal family. It never gets easier, even when one's own mortality moves closer. Just yesterday, a beloved elderly neighbor who was the epitome of kindness, decency and sweetness in a human being. Though it was expected, it's a huge loss. Even when it's expected due to the health of the person as it was, one just prays and hopes it won't be 'now' - or ever.

      You are so right about Hubpages, too, Bill. I've been somewhat low-profile here for awhile, but have never considered leaving. As you say, it's being among our peers and exchanging support and caring with them, as much as anything. And also, as you say in so many words, it's not the quantity of the peers but the quality which counts.

      Thank YOU, Bill, for being such a 'rock' and friend to us all. I'm so glad you posted this.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 9 months ago

      HP may not be listening, but your friends and admirers are. Honestly, When you said you loved her I sat down and had a good cry. Rest in Peace, Mary.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill. I helped Mary format her two books to get ready for publishing. There were flurries of emails back and forth, as her 'earlier version' of Microsoft Word, 'unformatted' the work each time she opened it on her side of the equation. I finally realized, we had a 'ghost' helping us and we got it straight. I consider it a privilege to have worked with her. I agree with her you deserve 'The Best All Around Hubber" award. Your encouragement is seen in every comment on every hub. And HP is a writer's site, and you are a writing machine with the volumes of works piling up to prove it. The would lost some humor, love, respect and talent, and those attributes are in short supply. R.I.P. Mary

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 9 months ago from Bend, OR

      Bill, I don't know what "Best All-Around Hubber" means either, but I do know I immediately thought of you. Your tribute to Mary is why you're liked and respected here. Your kindness and integrity come through.

      Recently, I posed a question on how to handle my sisters-in-law who've shown so much disdain for my choice of being a stay-at-home mom. I couldn't believe all the thoughtful and supportive comments I received from fellow Hubbers. It was the kind of encouragement and inspiration that I wanted from my family but never got. This made me see Hubpages in a whole new way. I felt the sense of community you described.

      So thanks, Bill, for making this place special. Your title as "Best All-Around Hubber" is well-deserved and, as Mary said, you are the heart and soul of Hubpages.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It is a very very sad news. Your tribute is a very nice and well deserving one. I used to read most of her Hubs after I started following her 2 years back. All her Hubs dealt with very good topics with some good messages and nice thoughts. And I used to be much impressed by her skills and noble thoughts.

      I didn't recognize her by the real name. I know her as Tilsontitan. When I went to read her hub "small cell carcinoma", I realized that she is my friend and follower, Tilsontitan.

      I am very thankful to you for writing this nice tribute emphasizing her worth and good nature. I love our Hubpages community with so many good people here and am always proud to be a part of it.

    • profile image

      Graham Lee 9 months ago

      So sad to read this Bill. We swapped comments many times. I hope she has found peace. My thoughts for her family as well, I lost a very close family member to this horror. RIP Mary.

      Graham.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 9 months ago from Brazil

      As always Bill you've written from the heart . A beautiful way to remember a wonderful woman. She was right, you do deserve the awards you've received. Just as she encouraged you early on and gave you that boost to continue, this is what you have done for so many, myself included.

      Although the award may be once a year, every time you comment on our hubs or share your writing with us it encourages us to continue.

      My thoughts and sympathy go out to her family.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 9 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Yes the death of a stranger can touch our heart and bring sadness to everyone. Great tribute to Mary.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb! The award is only important to me because of the people who voted for it, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, the fact that you are here now, despite your limitations and obstacles, means the world to me, and I have no doubt means a great deal to Mary. Thank you for your beautiful heart and spirit....and believe me, you have met my expectations of you because I always believed you were an excellent writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings to you, Ruby, and I believe, as you do, that it is a blessings to be pain-free. She fought the good fight and now deserves the rest.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally! I've said before, I am just freely giving back what was freely given to me, and I'm happy to be able to do that. Life is fragile. I came to that realization when Bev found herself in the hospital for ten days, no warning signs at all, and it scared me and made a great impression on me. You are important to me, Sally, and always will be.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, you and me both, about outliving most friends. I'm growing weary of the loss. I grow close to someone and they die, and it happens over and over again. Two very dear friends are dying right now and it sickens me....but I still have time, and that time will be spend creating beauty through words, and sharing that with thousands of others, and remembering the good times with dear friends. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for caring so much, Pop! It means a great deal to me to call you a friend, even if you are a Republican. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! People come, they go, they touch us deeply, and we carry on the torch forward, and remember those lost....sweet melancholy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LetsTalk, thank you, and you better not ever let the naysayers change your mind or path. Life is too short to have it dictated by those who do not understand what drives us forward.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, I, for one, am very happy you are a part of this community. I find you engaging and supportive, and one day I would enjoy sitting down with you and talking in person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hate cancer, Graham, and I know that's irrational but I don't care...I simply hate that damned disease.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is very kind of you to say. You can follow the lead and do the same for others, as I know you already do. I want this community to thrive with nothing but big winners!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ladyguitar, thank you! Mary deserved this tribute and many more, and she will be missed.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 9 months ago

      Dear billy,

      For the record, I am an Independent.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Damn! How did I not know that? Well heck, Pop, we have much more in common now. LOL

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 9 months ago from Nibiru

      good tribute billy. She was apart of the hubpages family.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 9 months ago

      Bill, what wonderful words about Mary (Tillsontitan). I think all of us old-timers cared deeply about her and feel her loss greatly. We followed each other and I was glad to have her as part of our HP community. I know what you mean about the faithful few who have kept some of us here. I seldom publish anything because of my day job, but I enjoy reading and commenting on other people’s articles. It is all about the sense of community to me. I really do think that you are the glue that keep some of us together because I’ve considered many times about leaving. You summed up the reason some of us are becoming unhappy:

      “HubPages is becoming more of a money-making machine and less of a community of writers.”

      Recently I had a hubber email me privately that she was not allowing my comment because it was all about an Amazon promotion, and my comment might cause her “to miss a sale.” My comment wasn’t derogatory; it was just something that I mentioned that she viewed as competition to her sales pitch. While I appreciate that she was apologetic and told me this nicely, it still hurt my feelings because it just showed what HP is turning into. I still love our little community, but I’ve decided in the future not to read any hub that looks like a promotion. Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn your lovely tribute into a soapbox, but, frankly, I don't think HP is something that Mary would approve of now.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 9 months ago from Georgia

      I'm so sorry to hear of Mary's passing. As one who has been on Hubpages a few years now (though not nearly as active as some), I have read many of her hubs. The words you have expressed about her are wonderful. She will be missed by this occasional "Hubber" and my thoughts go out to her family. Cyndi

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 9 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Beautiful, touching and respectful tribute to Mary, dear Bill.

      I loved reading this comment stream - so much caring and compassion strewn amidst some very talented writers. And I believe Mary would be touched to the core to see how very loved and valued a member of our community she was.

      I do hope HP is reading...and sends a handwritten condolence to her family. In any event, I will be sending her family a Mass Card with a personal note.

      Your presence inspires, supports and motivates me...you will always have my vote. Love, Maria

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 9 months ago from South Africa

      I'm going to miss Mary more than words can tell. She was an adorable friend, always supportive. This is a beautiful tribute to her, thank you, Billybuc. I think All Around is another word for 'perfect'.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Bill, she was on my mind a lot lately. We have had some discourses and she fought her good fight. I was thinking of writing to her again. So sad to hear the news! She wanted to fight, like my sister, and I felt at one point that she was doing well. Who knows the ways of the Lord?

      Read a lot about death today, and my poem The Casket, triggered some memories too. Reminds me of what I always say, that tomorrow is not ours; that we just don't know and that all we have is the Eternal Now. Actually, two Mary's went. Mary Hyatt, I hear too.

      I wish to extend all My Love to them both. May the Peace of Christ Jesus and the ever-compassionate Supreme, continue to be with them now and always. My condolences to all the families involved.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 9 months ago from Missouri

      Bill, I truly do not know what to say. I too loved sweet Mary of Tilson as I called her. To me, the two of you are the best of what Hubpages has to offer: acceptance, encouragement, friendship. Remember when I wrote my little hub on how to break out of writer's block and used you and Mary as my guidance? How many times have you and she been there for me, in my thoughts, as I sat down to write? The number has no quantity to it for it is limitless, unending. I miss her. I will always miss her. Sweet Mary of Tilson, you are and shall always be in my heart, in my thoughts every single time I attempt to compose something, anything. North Star, thy name is Mary Craig. And Bill, thank you for this tribute to a worthy human being. Always know you are thought of as highly as she is.

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      suzettenaples 9 months ago

      Lovely tribute to Mary. She is one of the early ones to follow and comment on my hubs. It is so sad, and she left us far too early. Yes, five years ago HP was different. So many have dropped by the wayside. I know myself I don't write as much or comment as much except for the goodies but oldies. And you do deserve the all around hubber award. No one gives more to HP than you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes Martie! I agree. I was thinking "All around" means "THE MAN!"

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 9 months ago

      I am so sorry to hear about Mary. We have lost a great writer.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 9 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I will miss Mary Craig. Thank you, Bill. What a beautiful tribute to her. I was glad you reminded me about her Hubber username. I had forgotten, I had become so use to Mary Craig on FB. She was right in there commenting and publishing great hubs when I joined 5 years ago.

      I think the reason you got the award is you are like the glue that holds us together on HubPages. I think I'm going to try and get some new, new friends in her honor.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 9 months ago from Texas

      Bill, it's easy to see why you continue to win the award year after year. As you clearly explain here, you understand what it means to follow people. You are always encouraging with the comments you leave behind and appreciative of the comments left to you. You've been one of my biggest supporter for as far back as I can remember and it's never waivered. Plus, you like my sense of humor, so you get an A+ in my book for that alone. Hahahah. You are popular, simple as that. Embrace it! LOL.

      I'm very glad for the support here on HP. I was just telling Paula the other day that I stay here for that same reason. Some of you I communicate with outside of HP and have developed meaningful friendships with and a few have touched my heart and life in ways I can't even begin to explain, something I never intended when I signed up. But it's been a real highlight of the HP experience that it happened that way. It's funny how people you have never met in person can make such an impact on your life. Every time someone does a tribute for someone lost, however, I realize all over again how much friendship is simply friendship no matter the form it takes. I can't distinguish between online and offline. This is why. I hope people pay close attention to your words here, and thank you for being the kind of guy that wins the Best All Around Hubber Award.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, Mary was one of the best. She befriended many of the Hubbers she followed - me included - and she carried that genuine friendship outside the virtual walls of HP. Thank you for honoring her. We will miss her tremendously.

      I know exactly what you mean about the wonderful camaraderie that HP offers. I guess it depends on what you want from HP and how you view the importance of connecting with and supporting other human beings. I have so many friends outside of HP that I met right here on these pages and they mean the world to me. I think that's why I'm loyal to HubPages. I've been paid in spades by what really matters in life, thanks to my testing the waters here back in 2011.

      I've read in your mailbag about the new writing sites where writers can stand to make more than they do here, but I have no desire to venture down those roads. Making money at writing is no longer important to me; I tried making a go at freelancing for a living and it just didn't pan out. And that's okay.

      I have roots pretty firmly planted in HubPages turf. As you say, many writers we met years ago are no longer active on HP, but are still in our lives and most times pop in to comment when we post. The newbies need to learn from us veterans and the decades more life experiences we have on them. They'll one day learn what's really important in life. The sooner, the better. No regrets.

      I, too voted for you. Not because of your writing skills, but because of your heart and genuine love for your friends. You give us your heart and share your knowledge. Most importantly, you're never too busy for a friend. I know. You've been there for me.

      I love you, Bill. And I love you, Mary. I just know you'll keep all the other folks up there in stitches, hugs, and unconditional love.

      Peace,

      Bravewarrior

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Very well put Bill. Mary was a wonderful member of this community, always there with a supportive comment and of course her crazy sense of humor. I was aware of her battle with cancer and with no news over the last few months I began to fear the worst. She will certainly be missed here. I think a note from HP's is the least they can do. I would even go so far as to suggest naming one of the annual Hubbie awards after her, a small gesture to honor one of our best.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Aw, I love Mary so much. She was the best of the best in this community and I have no doubt in all aspects of her life. She was a beautiful, strong and courageous woman with a heart of love for all. She encouraged me in my writing and always made me feel so special whenever she left a comment on my hubs. I will miss her so much. I loved reading her hubs. She was a wonderful writer, and I am so happy she was able to realize her dream of publishing her novel and children's story!

      I love HubPages for the community of writers and friends I've made over the past four and a half years, well, almost five now. I'll never forget being so surprised when I was welcomed so warmly and received so well, especially with being allowed to be myself and write whatever is on my heart. Nowadays, I try to be mindful to reach out to newcomers whose writing I enjoy and leave a comment. Some do not care to get so involved in the community (as it does take a lot of hours) and that is okay, but others I am happy to have met and made new friends. I started following hubs published under the topic of short stories, and discovered some truly brilliant writers. So, I think it is as much up to us old timers to encourage the newbies, as we were once encouraged from the start. When I read a good one, I always share. I believe we should pay it forward.

      On another note, our talented writer of gritty flash fiction thrillers, etc., Frank Atanacio, mentioned to me about a month and half ago that he was thinking about leaving HP, and it looks like he has left the scene, as he has not published anything in six weeks : ( He has been here over five years too. He is obviously not one to make a big deal out of goodbyes though and just goes off into the sunset ....

      I appreciate the Hubbie awards so much, being it is the one award that is voted on by fellow writers, and that is extra special to me. So, you know you're extra special to so many here, dear Bill.

      I know I will see our dear Mary again one day. I am keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers.

      I never realized that "Jools" is Janine!

      Hugs and much love to all

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      Linda Lum 9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, what a beautiful, loving tribute. What you have testified to is what makes Hub Pages work--the only positive in this low reward website of unintelligible guidelines and expectations. The only (and I repeat only) reason I stay here is because of the people who are the true heart and soul of this goofy little community.

      You and I have met, and that is a rarity. I would assume that most "followers" never meet their "followees". But in addition to you I can easily name 6 more who I consider not just followers but friends. They support and encourage me, and I do my best to extend the same love to them.

      That, my friend, is why HP is important. How sad that we have lost one who was a true cheerleader and friend. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Mary with everyone. Perhaps a few newcomers will read this Hub and come to understand the real value of Hub Pages.

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      Shannon 9 months ago from Texas

      You know what, Theresa, you and Bill both are welcoming of most everyone. And I've especially appreciated your warmth. You were one of the first to start following me, I believe. You've got a kindness and warmth that just naturally welcomes others. That's a good thing, especially for people like me. It seems like most of the people I interact with on here are old enough to be my parents and I am at times very aware of that. I'm kind of the odd one out sometimes. There're differences sometimes in the way I'm treated, depending on who is doing the talking and where - not so much on my own hubs. It's noticeable in the way friendships are formed, too. Naturally, I suppose, but it's still. . .I don't even have the words. It's just nice to interact with those that I have truly made friends with both here and outside of HP. Thank you for your support of everyone I see you interact with.

      Paula. . .I think you know how I feel about you. . . .

      I hope you don't mind, Bill. Just seemed like a good place to state my mind, given the point of your hub is to embrace the community of it. Friendship. . .the lasting bonding kind. . .has been on my mind for a few months now. There's just nothing like it. It's like a family of friends and perhaps a family on HP when you notice so many mutual friends among the community.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Wonderfully put, Bill! I've been here awhile now, but it's never easy losing one of the older writers. Mary will be greatly missed, along with earnesthub, 50caliber, and others of Hub fame.

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      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, my goodness, dear Shan, that is the sweetest thing ever. You are such a sweetheart and gifted poet/writer. Plus, so wise beyond your years. I'm so blessed you are part of this community to know and love. You are a special presence here.

      Hugs and much love, sweetie

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 9 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Bill,

      you made a person like me, who shows no fear of venturing out all alone with my dog in dark hours of night, cry like a child.

      You have paid a great tribute to Mary! Thank you for doing that.

      I knew she was struggling, but I was a coward who never checked on her on a regular basis as to how she was doing.

      I distinctly remember her articles on Hollywood movies of the yore, small town America, and on nature. I used to think that she must have live a full life. Her energy and love of life spent knew no bounds. And I respected her for that.

      On a related note, you are the biggest reason I am still on hubpages. Of course, there are others too, but your encouraging comments keep me going.

      Thank you for continuing on hubpages and thank you for sharing this hub with us.

      You are the best!

      Regards,

      Suhail

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      Shannon 9 months ago from Texas

      You and Bill are among the few who have called me wise beyond my years or something similar. . .I don't know about that. LOL. It probably comes across that way more in writing than in person. The "sweetheart" thing, too. LOL. I may do things for people, but my words are not often sweet when they come out of my mouth outloud. . .Oh...that makes it sound like I have a trucker mouth. . .but that's not what I mean either. Hahahaha. It's just easier in writing to express my thoughts and feelings when I've got something "sweet" to say. It never comes out right or at all in person. LOL. Unless I say a simple "I love you."

      Let me tell you something else. . .speaking of things outside of HP. . .I still remember your early birthday wishes. Two months early, I think. LOL. I laugh now, but it's a good thing because I appreciated the thought so much when it caught me totally by surprise. Talk about birthday surprises! ;) And now I know yours. Can't forget it because you share the date with my daughter and her great-grandpa. You guys are great. You make me smile. And laugh.

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      Mel Carriere 9 months ago from San Diego California

      What the best all around hubber means is that you, the urban farmer, do the most to cultivate this community, in addition to your great writing and tutoring. Don't agonize over it, embrace it and be proud. You've earned it.

      Mary Craig and I never linked up here, for whatever reason. Friends and followers come and go around a solid core that includes you as a key component of the foundation. That said, I see ominous signs here that I don't like. I used to get 15 to 20 new hubs show up on my daily email. Today there were two. Where have the hubbers gone? This is not good for the longevity of the site.

      Congrats again. Sorry about your friend.

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      Dreamworker 9 months ago

      Beautifully written as always, Bill. I'm sure if Mary were still with us, she would be humbled by what you wrote. Maybe that's why people here love both of you so much: you both are decent, good human beings.

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      Victoria Lynn 9 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill, that was a lovely tribute to such a sweet person. I, too, remember the excitement and the close-knit community of five years ago. Perhaps your message will inspire newer hubbers as well as us oldies. I keep peeking in now and then and keep thinking I'll start hubbing around more. Perhaps I will. Thanks for such a wonderful message in this hub. And congrats on your award! I voted for you, too. :-)

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      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, this hub is an example of why you were awarded the title of "Most Versatile Hubber" four years in a row. It is because you support and encourage other hubbers and writers and your attitude shows you actually care about others.

      In the community where I live there was a couple called John and Robin. John was the local fire brigade First Officer and also the man also the man who delivered gas bottles and did land clearing in the area. Robin was secretary of the brigade etc. They were the hub that held the community together. When they both suddenly passed away within months of each other most of the community activities and spirit was lost as well. You, my friend, are the rock that holds the HubPages community together. A fitting tribute to valued hubber and friend, Mary, who will be dearly missed.

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      Paula 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jodah sweetie.....Bill is definitely Versatile, but his 4 time award was for the Best All Around hubber! LOL.....That's OK. We're all allowed a couple of mistakes a year! I'm sure Bev thinks he's "versatile!!" :)

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      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha yeah, Paula, my mistake...all round..versatile....Bill fit's the Bill either way, get it..? :) This certainly won't be my only mistake this week, let alone year.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago from Texas

      Bill, this is such a fitting comment and tribute to such a wonderful Hubber.

      You are right, we need people like Mary not to take her place but, people like her, who’s caring allowed her to touch your heart with her comments and bring comfort to an aching heart and allow each of her followers and those she followed into her life and trust each one to share the most devastating time in her life and asked nothing in return but, that we share her last moments with love.

      I agree with Mary, you deserve the Hubbie Awards.

      Blessings and Hugs dear friend.

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      Audrey Hunt 9 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Mary Craig . . . an angel to me and many others. I recognized Mary's genuine love for others, going on 7 years ago, as a new writer for Hub Pages. Upon losing my son to cancer Mary wrote me a beautiful letter offering her support and time whenever I needed it. I never had the opportunity to meet her yet I felt her kindness and beautiful spirit through our association here on Hub Pages. Through my tears may I say how much I will miss her.

      YOU are indeed the heart and soul of this community. You give your all come rain or shine to not only support us but also to teach us to become better writers ... giving us wings to fly.

      You are so deserving of the award bestowed upon you. We all love you Bill. We respect you and thank you for sharing your wisdom and talent for writing.

      I am beyond grateful for my Hub Page friends. I wanted to give up on life after losing my beautiful son. But Mary, fpherj48 (Paula), Victoria Lynn, Mike Friedman (mckbirdbks), Faith Reaper, Maria (marcoujor), bravewarrior (Sha), Martie Coetser, always exploring (Ruby), Nell Rose, JustAskSusan, Peg Cole along with others gave me tremendous support.

      This support became my life-line and continues to this day. Thank you dear Bill, my friend and teacher for the big heart that beats inside of you.

      You are a treasure.

      Love,

      Audrey

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      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      First of all, congrats on the award, bill. I haven't even looked at the winners' list, I'm ashamed to say. I do feel guilty because I didn't even vote this time. Like you, I didn't really see the point of them, but you're right in that it's the mutual support that counts so now I feel even more guilty!

      I totally agree about the change of attitude here; there is little understanding from the newbies about what it's like to support each other. Like you, I continue writing simply because I enjoy it and because I love my friends here.

      HP should indeed acknowledge Mary and her loving character.

      Ann

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      Janis Leslie Evans 9 months ago from Washington, DC

      Beautiful, Bill. You said everything some of us hubbers feel as we see the HP community changing daily, either by site changes, policies, or exits and deaths of dear friends. You just said it more eloquently. This was a wonderful tribute to Mary. She always treated me so well as a new hubber 4 years ago. I miss the old days and I will miss her and those avatars.

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      Peg Cole 9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Aw, thanks for the mention, Audrey. I can't imagine the depth of difficulty in losing a child and I'm glad that anything I said was of comfort to you. We are held together here by the invisible strings of online companionship.

      Thanks, Bill, for bringing all of us together for this moment to share in the memories of our mutual friend, Mary. It's like a wake.

      Much like Shanmarie, "my words are not often sweet when they come out of my mouth out loud." I'm hopefully better on paper (or the screen) than I'm perceived. Thank goodness for the delete key.

      Reading through these beautiful comments has been a blessing as I can't seem to get Mary off my mind. I wish I had been more diligent in communicating with her. I'll try to do better.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 9 months ago from USA or America

      Hey Bill, I know it's been a few years since I've interacted with members on HubPages and their articles. I'll agree Mary was a kind lady and supported HP's community of writers like yourself and many others. I have memories of her interaction in community and forums(before I was banned from the forums). I may not have known her as well as you may have, but I do remember her and was saddened to hear about her death. Congrats on winning "Best All-Around Hubber" 4 years running. That is an accomplishment, even more so because of all the changes which has occurred at HubPages. Good words and thank you.

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      Paula 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Audrey......No doubt, my beautiful friend, you will feel overwhelmed with all the "HUGS" being sent your way today. Don't fight it, girl.....just sit back and feel the LOVE!...........Peace, Paula

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 9 months ago from Western NC

      What a beautiful tribute! And lookee, Big Bro - I'm seeing so many familiar faces coming together to celebrate community and someone's life! You really have a way with people. You have become a sort of "HubPages glue" and I think people look to you for mentorship, guidance and inspiration more than you know. :)

      Sending hugs and thinking of our friend, Tillsontitan.

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      Shannon 9 months ago from Texas

      Peg, I had that conversation with a friend recently. . .about wishing she'd been better about staying in touch and hanging out more way back when. But the truth of it is life happens. We can all try to do better, but life will still happen. When it does, sometimes that's when the little things mean the most, such as a note that says "thinking of you." The comments and thoughtfulness of people here, too. Those things, the thoughts, the memories become treasures.

      And, yes, I need a filter for my mouth! A deleted that button! LOL. Or. . .I know what I want to say to someone and it comes out an incoherent humbled mess if at all. So much for speech class back in high school. Haha

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, she was, Clive, and I'll miss her. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I completely agree, MizB! I do miss the old days, but then I say that quite often with many things in life. Maybe I'm just stuck in the past and can't escape. LOL Or maybe you and I are correct! Anyway, thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cyndi! I appreciate your thoughts about her. She was a jewel of a human being.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings and love to you, Maria! For a few of us, HP will always be more than it appears.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks Martie! I'm far from perfect, but I've learned never to argue with a lady I respect. :)

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is beautiful, Manatita, but I would expect nothing less from you. Blessings my friend and brother.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate that, Mike, and I think as highly of you, my friend. That, to me, is what HP is all about.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I guess, Suzette, I think if I try hard enough, I can make HP great again. Sigh! Thank you for the very kind words.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sis!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And a great human being, Dee, and I don't say that about very many people. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That would make me happy, Rebecca. Thank you and I hope those new friends become life-long friends, like Mary.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, meeting people like you makes HP well-worth the time for me. You are genuine and a person I would love to meet in person, and I can say that about many around the world, and I just think that is amazing. How could anyone give that up?

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love you too, Sha! I don't think I need say anything more. :)

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that suggestion, Bill. I doubt it will happen but I love that gesture. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I knew you would have much to say, and i thank you...and you just caught me in a mistake...Jools is not Janine....she's Julie. I knew I had made a mistake somewhere. The mistake was whispering in my ear but I couldn't figure out what it was. I'm so used to Janine being the first to comment that i just assumed that was her. LOL Now I have some apologizing to do. Sigh!

      Blessings dear friend, and heartfelt thanks. I feel very strongly about our friendship and I just demand that you come to Olympia so we can meet in person.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I haven't heard from any newcomers yet, Linda, but I have seen a lot of old-timers who had disappeared until now, and that is a bonus. I love it here, because of you and others, so I'm asking you to please stick around.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm ecstatic to read your thoughts, Shannon, so feel free to interact.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that, Randy....Hub fame. Yes indeed, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Faith. Hey, you never called me sweetie! LOL

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, thank you, and you are not a coward, my friend. We all get busy and don't follow through on things. If anything, you just proved that you are human. :)

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      and you make me smile, Shannon...gifts all around.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's funny, Mel, because I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I think there were four new hubs all day. WTF????? I used to log on and have fifty facing me. I don't like it either, buddy.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I try, Dreamworker, and that's all any of us can do. Thank you so much.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Vicki! I think you and I started about the same time, and i'll always appreciate you and the excitement and friendship you brought those first few months. I selfishly hope you start writing again soon.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thank you for sharing that story. I wish I had the time to do more, tell the truth, but that's just the way life is. One thing for sure is I'll always follow you.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Come on, Sis! I kind of like versatile. LOL I've never been called that.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy with it, John, so thanks again.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! I respect you and that means a lot to me. Blessings and hugs coming your way.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Audrey, congratulations! You just made me cry on this Friday morning. Big hugs coming your way. Big, big hugs of friendship and gratitude.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! You are one of my dear online friends and I appreciate you greatly.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Jan! She was Mrs. Avatar here at HP and always will be. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's like a big family reunion, isn't it, Peg? I love that all of you came together here to share your thoughts. Mary lives on!!!!!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Cagsil, so good to hear from you again. I hope you are well and I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts about Mary. Thank you and blessings to you always.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's it, Sis...a lovefest!

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very cool, Lil Sis, and I noticed the same thing, and I'm overjoyed by it.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hell, Shannon, no one would ever hear from me if I had a delete button. LOL

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, Mea Culpa. I'm so accustomed to Janine being the first to comment, I just assumed your comment was hers. I'm sorry and thank you so much for returning to HP to leave those beautiful words.

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      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      Audrey, I'm happy I was able to offer you words of comfort that helped ease your pain and move forward. Thank you for the kind mention. I had no idea I actually made a positive impact. You're a lovely, very strong, caring woman. We have a wonderful support group here.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 9 months ago from Texas

      LOL. I used to be the quiet, shy little girl who hardly spoke up about anything. (Except I often managed to get in trouble for talking too much to my best friend while the teacher was talking.) Then I learned to speak my mind. . .at times a little too much. Hahaha

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      Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

      Other interests took me away from these Hubpages.. and I thought I'd not visit until I got all my work done and cases closed before I retire.. but I had to come back for this.. Your voice is a stranger to me but so well known.. so it is fitting for you to write about our mutual friend.. God bless you and Til..err Mary... I don't think I'd like discussing her death.. so I just want to think about her life.. and her children's book and her comments to everyone.. thank you for this wonderful share my friend

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Once again, Sha, the reason I love this community so much.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, I had an 8th grade teacher who called me the "eye of the hurricane." All around me was chaos, but I acted like everything was peaceful...she said I was one of the sneakiest kids she ever taught. LOL I considered that a compliment.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, thanks so much for stopping back for this reunion and commiseration....YOU DA MAN!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 9 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Great tribute Bill, Mary would appreciate this I know.

      It was a real shocker when I saw the notice of the first hubber pass away and now it is getting to be more often and we know we are at that age to see it more and more often which is so sad but it is so much better than to have never known them. Isn't it?

      Hopefully our friendship was the comfort Mary needed passing over. Or at least some part. Like others I believe we will really meet her one day, those of us who have the same Father as Mary and talking to her, I know I did so I look forward to that day. I hope everyone here gets that chance.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so too, Jackie. Losing someone is never easy, but it does help knowing it's not forever.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

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      Paula 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OH.....I see I used the expression too correctly. I said about you, bill, "He's the MAN." How literate of me! BAH! I was suppose to say...."He DA MAN,." See, you're always teaching bro! Thank you.

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      Mr Archer 9 months ago from Missouri

      Bill, as I sit here and read all the comments and see the outpouring of love and admiration for Mary and yourself it is easy to see why you are our leader here. Like Mary, you command our respect. Like Mary, you are kind to a fault. Like Mary, you give continuously to us, doing what you can to lift us up to the next level. I do not know where I would be without you and I would guess many here would agree with me that if not for you and people like Mary we would have been gone long ago. It is no stretch to see you be named not only Hubber Of The Year but named the first recipient of the All Time Hubber Hall of Fame recognition.

      I remain for one reason: you, Mary, Cheyenne, Mike (old poolman), Nell, Ann, Phyllis, Deb, Randy, Dr. Bill and all the other "old-timers" who have given me the one thing I have sought my entire life: honest friendship. Beyond my wife my friends reside here, and only here. One has left this plane of existence but others remain, offering their support no matter what. What more can a man ask for? Thank you Bill and all the others here who have my back; it is rare in this world and rest assured I have yours.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, precious Audrey,

      Your heart is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and I'm happy to know we, our loving community, was there for you during a time of great loss.

      I experienced that same overwhelming love from this family here on HubPages when my precious Mother died and went on to Heaven a few days before Christmas in 2012. It was a very difficult time from Veterans Day to that day in December. So many of these same friends you mention here and so many others too who are no longer here showed me so much heartfelt compassion.

      You are loved, Audrey ...

      Hugs

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, Bill, you know you're a sweetie to me ...I thought it was understood : ) and no need for demands, for the day I head West, you'll be the first to know LOL.

      I think Jools fooled us all beating Janine out as the first commenter!

      You've done a beautiful thing in gathering us all here, sweetie, in memory of our lovely friend.

      Hugs a much love always

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      Sharilee Swaity 9 months ago from Canada

      Bill, I did not know Mary that well but I remember the "old days" so well, and miss them. I miss the old Hubpages so much and have never found another writing community like it.

      Congratulations again on your award and sorry for the loss of your good friend and colleague.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 9 months ago from sunny Florida

      What a loving, carefully prepared tribute. And I feel certain that the words flowed for this tribute as it is truly from your heart. I definitely am not here to make money....my reasons are selfish I suspect. This is a place where I can share my journey and find others who care enough to comment ....and that means a lot. I am so very thankful for the kind heartfelt words that come my way from lovelies such as you Bill....and even though we have not met in real-time I consider you a friend in every since of the word. You are a gem. Keep on keeping on....you are an inspiration. Angels are once again winging their way to you ps

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      Chris Mills 9 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Bill, thank you for just being you here on HP. You are a good person who finds fulfillment in supporting and encouraging others. Your popularity on HubPages is simply others recognizing the special kind of person you are.

      I appreciate your words about Mary. We commented on one another's hubs from time to time, but two interactions come to mind.

      The first was when I commented on a hub in which she talked about cancer. She then read my article about my late wife's fight with breast cancer.

      The second interaction was when she responded to my flash fiction challenge with a story called "The Cane." https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Cane

      Thank you, Bill, for inspiring community and relationships. There is still a core of that here, and I am pleased that for the last four years I have been able to at least hang around at the edges.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 9 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      A lovely tribute and an inspiration to keep on hubbing and commenting.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I just had the pleasure of a day at our national archives. It was so cool to see all the correspondence of our nation. Even First Ladies to there husbands and of course from places like France to Generals here. The bonds that people made with each other simply by pen and parchment made me all goosebumpy inside. Just through our correspondence Mary loved me and let it be known. We even argued a time or two in caring jointness of solutions or at least the path. As I now have, yet refuse to suffer from cancer her manner of death touches me in a certain way.

      She was a great inspirer.

      Tell me again what a hubby award is?!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always my pleasure, Sis! That's what brothers are for.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Mike, that was a lot for this old man to process. Bev and I were just having this talk. I have two dear friends, one since high school, who are dying. That's it for my physical support system....Bev stands tall and then there are my online friends, who are very real to me and who I love. It's a strange world we live in, where online friends can become that important to a person, but all of you have for me...so I thank you, my friend. Just for being you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Faith....there is a lot of love here and I find that comforting daily.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hugs always, Faith, and love every single day I'm breathing. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sharilee! It's so nice to see old friends come together. You've been missed, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, this is completely selfish on my part. LOL I'm an introvert. I don't go out and meet new friends. I'm very uncomfortable in social situations. So all of you give me friendship and I can stay cloistered away in my room, safe and sound. :)

      I agree with everything you wrote, PS.

      The angels, heavily burdened, are heading your way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's been a great adventure, Chris, meeting so many people from so many walks of life in so many places, all with common goals, all helping each other...so very cool, buddy! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Brian! I love this site and I appreciate you greatly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful, Eric, and I thank you. I'll be by to read your latest soon. In the meantime, enjoy the national archives and all the wonder of that great city. Hubbie Awards? Never heard of them. LOL

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I didn't know Mary very well, but it sounds like she was a lovely person. It's so sad when a hubber dies. Thanks for creating the tribute to her, Bill. Congratulations on your Hubbie awards.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      She was actually not far from us in New York, and had great spiritual leanings. A truly loving Soul!

      I wanted to say that sometimes you seem to walk a tight rope with HP. Quite funny to me and interestingly enough, perhaps they love you for it. I mean, they must read your 'stuff' sometimes. Right?

      Listen? well, perhaps that's asking too much. (smile) Have a great Sunday!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! Mary was a good soul, loved by many, and I hate it when the world is deprived of such a person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, I've often thought the same thing. There are times I wonder why HP puts up with me. LOL Oh well, it's a free world....until it isn't. :)

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 9 months ago from UK

      Bill, your eulogy was so moving that it has brought tears to my eyes. Everyone deserves to be loved and remembered. You have reminded me of the dear friends who I have lost along the path of life.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 9 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Bill - this was a heartwarming tribute to Mary and to the old way of HP. Since HP suggested limiting comments, I've read through some of mine that are 5 years old. Such kind things people have said! It made me sad to delete long prattles about things like favorite shoes, movies, etc. And I stopped leaving comments thinking that I was just burdening people with junk they had to clear off. And am writing here less for various reasons.

      But I am thinking of why you keep winning the award. It's because people still love that old sweetness that was so nurturing earlier on. It's because HP was such a supportive community, so welcoming to new folks. It's because you exemplify that old HP love and carry it forward, reminding us all of what it means to be a human being in a cold world.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Glenis! I would hope that everyone has someone who will miss them when they die. Mary certainly had her share.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, I am touched by your kind words. Thank you so much! There is no doubt I miss the old HP. I wonder if it's possible to bring it back? Anyway, it was so good to hear from you once again. Thank you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 9 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautiful write here and you shared from the heart. The Hub community are friendly and always helpful to each other. Such great meaning here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They are for sure DDE, and I love it here. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 9 months ago from Dubai

      A beautiful tribute to a dear soul. She was a great HubPages member and a great friend. May her soul rest in peace.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Vellur! Thank you for joining in the tribute.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 8 months ago

      I was sad to hear of Mary's passing. She was a great support to many, including me -- even at my earliest struggle to write on HP. She will be greatly missed. You wrote a touching post on her. Thank you. Bill, you certainly are the heart and soul of this site. It is not for money people stay on here but for the community of writers who know what it to carry a torch for their fellow man.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dee, thanks for joining the tribute to Mary. I greatly appreciate it, and your kind words about me.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I'm glad you're still here! I'm also glad for the people who do 'get involved' with the people they 'follow'

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence! I'm very glad you are here as well, my friend.

      bill

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 5 months ago from Philippines

      Dear Mr. Bill, what a wonderful tribute you have written about a co-hubber. I was particularly moved when you said, "She was a quality human being who genuinely cared for others. I never met her and yet I loved her." I'm sorry that she has passed away, but what a mark she led. She in her own way mentored you, and in turn, you mentor so many other people in Hub Pages. Those of us who learn and are encouraged by you have Mary to thank for this. I think you are the heart of Hub Pages. Thank you very much for this beautiful article.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mona, thank you! That is a very kind thing for you to say. It saddens me when a good person passes, but I'm happy for the experience of knowing her.

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