Songs that tell stories really speak to my heart. Music creates a powerful connection between others. Songwriters communicate personal stories and share experiences. The audience listens to the songs and relates to what the other went through.
For me, that is what music is all about: support. When listening to a beautiful song, you can feel a sense of hope and connection! That is what Zach Sobiech’s song, Clouds, gave to me when I first heard it.
Last year, I shared Zach’s story after he passed away from his battle with cancer at the age of 18. Many people in my life have battled cancer as well. I have lost friends and family from it. What really stood out to me was how Zach and his family dealt with a terminal diagnosis with such optimism and love!
With only months to live, Zach turned to writing song lyrics to express the messages he wanted to leave behind for his family and friends. Writing the lyrics was healing for Zach; he could share his thoughts as special keepsakes for his loved ones to lean on after he died. Zach’s lyrics are there for them any time they need them.
His mom, Laura Sobiech, found pieces of his writing on the floor and picked them up. One of the first pieces of writing she discovered was the song Clouds. The family took action and decided to do a studio recording of the song for the Sobiech family and friends.
Zach wrote the song, Clouds, to share with his family, but they were not expecting what followed. The world heard and connected with the beautiful song immediately – the song went viral!
Instead of accepting defeat, Zach pursued his dreams with an unchecked passion that led to a no. 1 song, “Clouds;” a 22-minute Soul Pancake mini-documentary that has been viewed more than 12.3 million times and translated into 21 different languages; and a host of recognition, including being named one of CNN’s “Five Most Extraordinary People of 2013.” (Source - Press Release for Fly a Little Higher)
The reason why the song really spoke to me personally was not because Zach died; it was because he LIVED! Instead of being consumed by grief, his final days were a celebration of his life!
His family used their personal story about Zach to bring healing to themselves and others through his mom’s writing a book from her perspective called, Fly a Little Higher.
Laura Sobiech reached out to me to be part of the blog tour to help promote the release of the book, and I wholeheartedly volunteered. How could I not pass along Zach’s special story which really spoke to my heart?!
Since then, I have read Laura’s book, which I couldn’t put down! Zach’s beautiful message speaks to my heart:“You don’t have to find out you are dying, to start living.”
I have always believed that when you share your story with others, you give them permission to do the same. Hence, I encourage you to listen to Zach’s music and to read Laura Sobiech’s book. Doing so can help you Fly a Little Higherin your life!
In addition to raising funds to further research, Laura’s reasons for writing are personal, driven by a desire to explore the true meaning of hope and to help people live for today instead of for a perennial tomorrow. The exercise of writing itself was therapeutic, and the glimpse into the ways in which she and the rest of Zach’s family and friends each continue to live and honor his memory is a testament both to them and to him.
Thank you Zach, Laura, & the rest of the Sobiech family for sharing your story and teaching us about living!
Has hearing someone’s story (either in music, film, or book) inspired or helped you get through a difficult time?
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!