There’s been a lot of sadness in the world over the last few weeks.
The Boston Marathon Bombings.
The Moore, Oklahoma (and surrounding area) tornadoes.
The London Terror Attack.
While all of these have caused me to stop and pray, and weigh heavy on my heart, none of them have affected me quite like the untimely death of Zach Sobiech.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Zach’s story: Zach passed away on Monday, May 20, at 18 years old. Last June, after being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at the age of 14, Zach learned that he only had months to live. He chose to live life to its fullest, and recorded the song “Clouds” as a farewell message to his family and friends.
As many of you may (or may not) know, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma last April (2012). This diagnosis came fresh on the heels of several other friends’ battles with cancer, and completely rocked my world. You never expect cancer to happen to someone close to you, and when it does it’s completely life-changing.
I am happy to say that Jamie has completed her treatment, and is now cancer-free. She truly is a CANCER NINJA.
But, it also makes me stop and think about those who are not as fortunate. It breaks my heart when someone so young, with a full life ahead of them, succumbs to such a terrible disease. And Zach Sobiech’s story hit just a little too close to home.
I have been following his story for about a year now. But this week, after learning of his passing, I have been obsessed. I have read his Caring Bridge site over and over. I have combed through any stories that I can find about him on the internet. And I have his song “Clouds” on repeat in the car, and sometimes even as I sit at the computer – like now.
There’s just something about Zach, and his story, that tugs at my heart – something that everyone can learn from – which is this:
Zach chose to live life to its fullest, even after learning that his time left on Earth was short.
“I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living. My closure is being able to get my feelings into these songs so they can have something to remember me by or lean on when I’m gone. I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.”
To me, his optimisim, at such a young age and knowing that his time left was short, is something that everyone should learn from. He is an inspiration – a true hero.
Last night, as I was reading more about Zach, I came across the video below. It is a touching tribute to Zach Sobiech, his family, and the legacy he leaves behind.