In 2012 Sharon Dawson was delivered the horrible news. James, her husband of over twenty years, was not going to make it. The cancer had spread and there was nothing the doctors could do. She spent weeks beside her husband, soaking up every last second with him. As the Dawson family cherished their final moments together, my film crew moved into the room next to them and began filming the pivotal scene to our feature film “Summer Snow.” James loved having our crew next-door and often joked that his noisy walker would be heard in the film. Sadly, James passed away shortly there after.
As “Summer Snow” was preparing to be released in theaters, I emailed Sharon and offered her tickets to see the movie. Although she was leery of attending because of all the emotions she knew the film would bring up, she and her daughter decided to accept my invitation and see “Summer Snow.” The following emails I received from Sharon completely blew me away.
My daughter and I just got home from seeing Summer Snow. Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness, but also for your directing of the film. What a wonderful real message! You showed the stuff that really happens when a family loses a loved one and the difficulty of grieving. Watching it took me a step deeper in that grieving process.
We did a lot of crying (poor people sitting next to us) and the hospital scene was very hard. I remembered watching you several times that week and can recall exactly what we were doing while you guys were there. Looking at the wall behind the hospital bed and knowing my husband was right on the other… and that at that time and he was still alive… It was very hard to take my eyes off that wall... As I said, you helped me go one step deeper in the grieving process.
Thank you for your kindness. I hope this movie spreads just like a dandelion!
I wanted to share something that I could not last night. I did not know that Brett Rice was in your movie. Numerous times in my 20-year marriage, people would say that my husband reminded them of Brett Rice. So, that was quite a shock last night! Then came the hospital scene and that wall that I could not take my eyes off. I knew James was right there on the other side of that wall and so much was racing through my head! There was sobbing on my part and a very intense fear knowing at that moment I was close to losing him.
Amidst my sobbing, I heard the Holy Spirit say very clearly, "Yes, James is gone". Of course I knew that, but there was something so hard and yet so freeing in that moment. And then just as clearly I heard, "I have James and he is in good hands. He is happy, healthy and walking again. He is lacking nothing". Again, I knew this, but I think last night in that scene, that knowledge went from my head to my heart. I can't totally explain it. The movie ended and we left, crying the whole way home.
I continue to be a little mellow and a little weepy today, but there is something different. There are still tears, but they are more tears of comfort and healing. I want you to understand that your efforts have helped in a big way to heal a very weary and bruised heart. I have a strong relationship with our Lord, and know there were many reasons that God laid this movie on your heart. I was one of those reasons!
Thank you, again for inviting us to the film. My daughter and I would have been so sad to miss it! But, even more so, thank you for being obedient to the call you were given! May God use this movie to touch many more lives!!