A young man sits up in his bed, his shoulders slumped and head down. He covers his eyes from the sunlight as his father moves the curtain. He takes his father’s hand. His father rubs his shoulder.
Conrad Sewell sings inside a church.
At breakfast, the young stares at his food, his hand on his temple. His mother kisses his temple and touches his shoulder. As she walks down the hallway, she checks on her son one more time. He pushes his plate away. His father, sitting next to him, pushes the plate back to him and gestures for him to eat. He takes a bite of his eggs.
He sits on his porch steps, thinking. He looks up and sees his father, waiting. He picks up his skateboard and walks with his father. He and his father talk about the fly ball and how it turned around game.
On the corner, a group of young men stand around. One of them shoves the young man. His father tells him it’s not worth it.
Sewell sings in the young man’s neighborhood and sits on his porch steps.
At the boxing gym, the young man hits the punching bag. His father holds it for him, telling him he’s doing a great job and offering pointers. His father hugs him, saying he’s proud of him.
In the bathroom, he ties his black tie. His mother checks on him again. In the car, he looks out the window, not wanting to talk.
The hearse drives up the church. The pallbearers carry the coffin. His father calls out to him and they hug. As he leaves with his mother, he pats his heart. His father says goodbye.
During the service, the priest says the young man’s father took care of his family. He was a hard worker who sacrificed and did what he had to do. In the pew, his mother rests her head on her shoulder and puts her hand over his. He leans into his mother, closing his eyes.
The young man walks alone to the park.
Sewell walks out of the church.
The young man and his father went to ball games together. His father introduced him to boxing, telling him it saved him when he was his age. After school, they would head to the boxing gym and practice for an hour. Then, he and his father would have dinner with his mother. His father would talk about his day at work. He would explain what his dad taught him. His father was his best friend. But he’s gone.
It was sudden. A month earlier, he had to go the hospital (after much prodding from both him and his mom). There, they admitted him and after several tests, the doctor told them he had terminal cancer. He passed away, his wife and son, at his side, three weeks later.
The young man can’t believe his dad is gone. He still sees him, encouraging him to keep going. When he doesn’t eat, he can hear his dad say “eat or unless you’re going to sick later.” Without his father, his life has become silent.
At the funeral, though, his father wants to say goodbye. The young man pats his heart, telling his father that he will always love him and he won’t ever be only a memory. For the young man, he will honor his father by being the man he was meant to be.
Director: N/A Year: 2016
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