Sunday, February 8, 2009

there is a momma

You know, as a writer of fiction, I often tend to focus on stories that deal with father/son relationships. I am not sure why this is. Perhaps, it is because most of my fiction is based upon Michigan landscape, and I feel that I often experience that landscape through fishing, hunting, and backpacking: all activities I do with my father. I would like to submit, however, that it was my mother's motivation and encouragement and support that put me on the Appalachian Trail in 2002. And, it was through her guidance - and her worries - that I sought my way south through the Smokies to Mountain Mamas in North Carolina. Though she worried often, she tried hard not to let it show. And this makes me think about the beginnings of my outdoor passions. Though I know I hunt and hike and fish with my father, I began these endeavors through the 20 mile bike rides my mom insisted the family go on. And I received my hiking/camping instincts from the week-long trips my mom would plan at Higgins Lake. And my passion for the road, also inherited from my mother's proclivity to travel. Pending grant funding, I am about to embark on a train trip that will take me across the country 3 times, plant me in hostels and campsites in Portland, OR, Albuquerque, NM, New York City, NY, and Los Angeles/San Diego, CA, and place me on a train for over 150 hours. Total trip time: 30 days. As I wrote the grant proposal, I began to dream a bit about its possible acceptance. Though I felt I should be excited, I actually began feeling the recurring onset of an anxiety attack that has been all too frequent lately. Though, the more I pray and and think about the trip (that may or may not happen - pending funding) I realize that I have the know-how that is necessary for this trip to happen. This know-how came from my mom. Through the trips to Haight-Ashbury, to DC, and to Buckskin Joe's, I feel somewhat prepared for the uncertain. In short, I don't think my mom could ever actualize the impact she has had on me, and I know I don't express enough the fact that everything I am doing has only been made possible with the experience she has equipped me with. I love you mom.



Anonymous said...

"The mother loves her child most divinely, not when she surrounds him with comfort and anticipates his wants, but when she resolutely holds him to the highest standards and is content with nothing less than his best." HAMILITON WRIGHT

dad s.

Anonymous said... are my

Jill said...

OK Shrontz family, you are bringing me to tears! What a beautiful tribute to your mom! I work with her, absolutely love her, and have benefitted greatly from her words of wisdom over the years. I only hope one day my son will same the same things about me!

diane said...

Jason, I am sure your mom is smiling from ear to ear after reading such a precious tribute from her son. Mom's are usually the silent strength that oftentimes never get mentioned in the growing up years of a young man. You couldn't have given her anything else that would have blessed a mother's heart. gram troost