Jon Skovron is an author of fantasy novels for adults and teens. He lives just outside Washington DC with his two sons.

Ghosts in the Cloud


Monte Smock, or "Mama Te" as he was affectionately referred to by many who knew him, died of cancer on October 11th, 2011. He was one of those magnificent, larger than life people who made everyone smile whenever he appeared. One of my favorite memories of him was at my son's baby shower, held at a Beer Garden in Queens, New York, naturally. My ex (then my wife) was about 8 months pregnant and huge (my son ended up being about ten pounds at birth). Monte had a rich, thunderous, gospel voice, and he knelt down next to her belly and sang a rendition of Amazing Grace to my unborn son that brought tears to my eyes.

That moment is how I choose to remember Monte. 

Even though he passed away nearly three years ago, he's still on Facebook. I was reminded of this recently when I stumbled across his account. It was jarring at first. But then I flipped through some pictures and found this nice one of us with a few other friends at a beach house in the Hamptons. So all in all, it was a pleasant experience.

But it got me thinking. How many people have died but are still online? What does it mean when we leave this echo of ourselves behind that never fades?


The Trick Is Not to Mind the Fear