Power of Choice

Warrior TV Presents: A documentary submission to the 2015 Johnson County Student Film Festival. Produced By: Madison Dolen, Ashley Hamer, and Bailey Hamer

High school student Producers, their families, friends and film-goers interested in their crafts filled the historic Ashcraft Theatre with high energy last night for the Franklin Film Festival.  The documentary in memory of my son, Sam, titled “The Power of Choice” was in the Top 8 and to be shown to the audience so I was there in attendance with two of my dearest friends.  As they played Sam’s documentary, there in the dark, my tears could still stream easily down my face although I have seen the video several times now.  It was generally quiet in the theatre except for the little boy sitting in the row directly behind us who couldn’t have been more than four or five I imagine.  As Sam’s documentary ended, his precious child-like voice was almost pleading with his parents or whoever could hear.  “I don’t want that boy to be dead,” he was saying.  And then after voicing his pleas, it was as if even his young mind reckoned that Sam’s fate could not be changed.  He went on then emotionally conceding and expressed sorrowfully, “I’m so sad that boy is dead.”  His words spoke loudly to me as I, too, in my mother’s heart couldn’t have agreed with him more.  

I was blessed by meeting Madison, Bailey and Ashley when they reached out to me last November about doing a documentary on Sam as their local film festival entry for “A Story That Has To Be Told.”  I don’t know what I expected with their finished project but when I saw the draft version several weeks ago, I was moved that what I had poignantly shared with them about Sam and our family was being reflected back to me in such a telling way from their creation; reminding me so much of when we were alive together.  And what I knew and hoped about Sam came through to me from their expression as well.  Sam’s “Big Brother” influence lives on with us all, even if you didn’t know him personally which is the case with Ashley, Bailey and Madison.  

The three creators desire to spread awareness in such a way to help others is so striking to me.  I am blessed beyond measure for the efforts of everyone involved in the documentary and to have Sam in my life in so many ways, even now.  To me, the documentary is priceless.  Thank you many times over, Madison, Bailey and Ashley; and always from my heart, much love to Sam and Nick…