Friday, November 20, 2015



Memorial for Mum
this Saturday, November 28th at 2 p.m.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
2245 Huguenot Trail, Powhatan, VA 23139

In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation in her name to Cambiando Vidas, one of the organizations she built houses with in the Dominican Republic. 
Snail mail: Cambiando Vidas, PO BOX 5015, Brookfield, CT 06804
Taken on Mum's 80th birthday, by John Morgan, author of Grasshopper Notes.
Mum believed the world would be a better place if EVERYONE read John's blog!
Last week Mum was in a head-on collision and suffered from a broken pelvis, 8 fractured ribs, fractured tibia, broken nose and lacerations. She was in the ICU, with wonderful nurses, but it was just too much for her; no sleep, constant interruptions, and she was in a lot of pain. Wednesday we made the decision to bring her home to her flat, and bring in Hospice.

Last night, surrounded by family and friends. our dear priest, Sandi Kerner, anointed Mum with oil and gave a blessing. Ruth said, "Mum, we love you and want you to stay. But if you need to go, you can go." And she did, at home, surrounded by loved ones.

I am so grateful to have had this blog to document our conversations and adventures together. We had many cups of tea, and lots of laughter. Since Mum's move here, I have spent almost every evening with her, knitting and having tea, watching Jeopardy and Castle and all her other favourite shows.

For her 80th birthday, I did a special blog post, so I won't repeat those photos here. This is how I want to remember Mum:


Me:What are you doing, Mum?
Mum: Oh, just breaking up this concrete.

I should say that she did this with a sledgehammer, by hand! That was Mum.

Mum was many things to many people. She was memorable wherever she was, with whomever she was with.




At Christmas time.

Another Christmas time. :-)


And a bit later:

One summer, Mum had all the grand kids for the week:

She used to give the kids surgical gloves to blow up:

She was "GranAnne" and doted not just on her biological grandchildren, but adopted their friends as well!

For Christmas, she decided to give her grandchildren "an experience," so for a few years, she took them to the Japanese restaurant:

You could say that FIRE is a good dining experience!
For the past 3 years, it's been skiing.

Birthday card from this year.

Mum & Ruth helped our friends Rachel & Carlos when they were building their house. Rachel took the next two photos:


She was an expert knitter, and had taken to making Plarn bags; plastic "yarn" bags:

She taught me to knit, & I made her this prayer shawl:

World Traveler
I would drop her off at the airport, and off she went! 

Off to Habitat Builds in Poland, Hungary or Cambiando Vidas in the Dominican Republic. Or to see friends.
South Africa: Demonstrating that we are British. We love nature & we are NOT afraid of lions!
Another trip to Australia with Prim & Judy. 

At Mel & John's son's Josh's wedding:

After I got the Lake House, friend Prim came from Australia for a vizzie:


She sang with the Front Royal Oratorio Society.

After she moved, we'd come back up to watch fireworks:

One year it rained and we had the whole place to ourselves!

At The River House
When I moved to the River House, I got to spend more time with Mum:
In "her" chair, with Maggie & Millie.
This is a typical Mum pose; hands-on-hips:
Dog tolerator.
In my office, Millie on her bed:

She came to help me clean windows:

On my birthday, we'd had a lot of snow. She made it down the road, but couldn't get up the last mile of driveway. That didn't stop her, of course!
See? Flowers and prezzies.
We went for a drive over the mountain. Here she is looking down at the Shenandoah Valley:

Her birthday at the River House:
2011, my last week there.

Birthday Gal
This is from Mum's surprise 65th b-day party
At her house in Bentonville, with Pioneer Sister's famous chocolate ganache cake.
Mum's birthday in 2014:
This past year she was in Scotland & celebrated in the Orkneys.
She Loved to Laugh
Ruth gave Mum a yoga shirt:
Mum loved tai chi & tap-dancing, but referred to her yoga class
as "Torture yoga." "I don't like all the bendy-pretzlely moves."

 Church Christmas dinner:

I don't know what we were talking about, but here's her response:
The Anne Holliday Eye Roll captured.
 And here she is, cleaning up of course:

We LOVE you, Mum!!!


Ian said...

This is such an amazing collection of photos and captions, Hali! I'm laughing and crying at the same time. Thank you a hundred times. Ian

Theresa said...

What a beautiful gift this is to all who loved her. Thank you, Hali.

Alison Leclaire said...

When we opened our palanca bags at cursillo she cracked me up as she realized one of her palanca items was something she had knitted at St. Luke's (a prayer square with the knitting guild). Her quote was something like "I sure do like the gift I gave myself". My prayer square I gave to my daughter and I think if Anne when we do her nightly prayers.��

Anonymous said...

This a beautiful commemoration of your mother...what a character.
Peace to the whole Holliday family. Jen

Unknown said...

And she was an active member of the Winchester Little Theater for years. I remember working with her on costuming, and she said "You can call me Anne now, you know" and I was like, "noooo, you're always going to be Mrs. Holliday to me!" I had known her just too long to stop seeing her as my friend Halimah's mom! At least she got in one last trip with Ruth & family. I am so sorry for your loss! -- Amelie

Unknown said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Her bright smile, infectious laugh, enormous love of the Lord and brilliant spirit lives on in our hearts. I'm grateful I had Cursillo #158 with her. My thoughts and prayers are with you Hali and all your family in this enormous loss. I know she is with God beaming down on us. And the faith and strength your family has shown thoughout this ordeal is incredibly inspirational to us all. ❤️ With love, Talley

Patsy said...

I was blessed to have met her. I was just there in Powhatan for 10 days. Although she spent most of those days working on the Iga house, she made time to stop and talk to me. After losing my husband suddenly, she was a kindred spirit whose love showed so brightly when she turned her ear to listen.

Jane Jenkins said...

What a lovely tribute to your Mum. I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers are sailing across the country and up to heaven. I remember meeting her at a hypno-birthday info class. Such a beautiful soul. You always had so many great stories to share about her that I enjoyed hearing on those long drives to HR workshops! XO

Whispers of Joy said...

Hali I am so sorry for your loss. I just read this today. My heart goes out to you. You have a lot of wonderful memories of your mum and some amazing pictures which truly capture her spirit. Sending you and your family much love and light.

Unknown said...

Hali and family,
I forgot to mention her incredible gluten-free carrot cake she made for every nurse aide graduation and the "fish pie" she brought by after one of my surgeries. We were skeptical, but it was so delicious!
We will have it soon in her memory.

Unknown said...

Gorgeous blog. So sorry to hear about your mum. Your relationship with her was obviously such a wonderful thing for you both. And, hilarious re Cindybin! But I won't say more on that score! Love your eloquence. Such a genuine pleasure to read what you've written. I also hope to collect teapots. I have my first serious purchase of the Carltonware Golly teapot and I looooooong to import one from The Teapottery. That will take some saving! Bless you. xx

Hali Chambers said...

Am realizing that I didn't reply to all these WONDERFUL comments. Thank you ALL, dear friends, who knew Mum and who knew her thru me and my blog. And Bunny, thanks for the nudge to reply, and for your kind words. Nice to meet you! :-) H.