That one last shot



By Betty Slade

The last trip of summer proved to be one of the best trips of our lives. Our family members traveled from Colorado, northern California and Arizona, and convened in Los Angeles to see the premiere of our grandson’s first featured film, “Space Waves.”

For three nights, we were entertained, challenged and blown away by the quality of this coming-of-age film. It was a project four years in the making, one riddled with trials and lessons learned.

Each night, an aerial shot crawled across the northern California sky and focused on its intended landing. A radio tower and images of two young men flashed against a white wall. Dynamic music consumed the space with wavebands connecting audience and film. With energized pumping hearts, the crowds erupted and I felt I had entered Rocky’s training montage and his world of boxing.

Better than that, my front-row seat transported me into the world of “Space Waves,” a coming-of-age, full-length feature film. We delighted in an evening of sparkly purple, turquoise and nostalgia.

The story of “Space Waves” reflects our grandson’s own coming of age. Now 25, my Sweet Al and I experienced his moments of anticipation that were met with conflict and unexpected detours. Being the “man of the hour” was eclipsed by the realities that cause us to examine our own minute-by-minute existence.

One of the crew members said, “On set, nine times out of 10, we would wrap our filming for the day later than scheduled, not for lack of enthusiasm, but because Spencer was determined to get that perfect shot. Most often, that ‘one last shot’ would be the one that made the final cut.”

“Throughout the entire ‘Space Waves’ journey, our motto has been, the best things are worth waiting for ... and worth pushing a car uphill in 100- degree summer weather for!”

How exciting it has been to see our grandson grow from a young man with big ideas to someone who has fought and pushed his way through his own uncharted territory, a journey that earned him the right to be known as an accomplished director.

Supporting our grandson, creating a red-carpet experience, Tiffany Dawson, our granddaughter, designed merchandise, developed a website and a social media presence. The three-night showing was filled to capacity. As the production designer, she designed sets and costumes. 

I heard a comment about our granddaughter: “Some artists are all over the page, not Tiffany. For someone with enormous creative talent, she has such a sense of organizational skills. She viewed each scene with sensitivity to the characters and their involvement in the story. She gave attention to every detail.”

I write this only because I saw my grandchildren come into their full potential during the making of this film. I value these days God has been so generous to give us.

I reminded my Sweet Al of a scripture that tells us God allots 70 years to a man and by reason of strength, he gives him 80. Perhaps God has been generous and has given us more. Psalm 90:10 (NKJ).

These coming-of-age stories are not just personal, but ones shared across generations. We’ve come to see and know God’s promise through our children and grandchildren as they have moved in and out of their own seasons. How many last shots would we have missed for the final cut if God had not waited?

Final brushstroke: Most often, that last shot is the one worth waiting for. Truth is, these moments take shape at various times over the course of a lifetime. The beauty is in seeing things unfold and watching maturity and wisdom be developed in a person. That would have not been possible had we not been given time to appreciate the trials of a moment. 

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