ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • HubPages Tutorials and Community»
  • HubPages, the Community

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

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 10 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 13 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 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 13 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 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 13 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 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 13 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 13 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 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.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 13 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.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      GlenR 13 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 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. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 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.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 13 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!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 13 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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 14 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 14 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?!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 14 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

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

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 14 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      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.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 14 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

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 14 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.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 14 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

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 14 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

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 14 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 14 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 14 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

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      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

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      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

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 14 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 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

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 14 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.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 14 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.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 14 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.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 14 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

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 14 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

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 14 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.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 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!!" :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 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.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 14 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. :-)

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 14 months ago from USA

      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.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 14 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.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      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.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 14 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

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 14 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

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 14 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.