At the age of just fourteen, Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that arises in bones. At seventeen years of age, Zach was told he had just months to live, but that didn’t stop his will to keep fighting and to keep living his life to the fullest. Sadly, Zach Sobiech passed away on May 20, 2013, but his memory and energy that he had for life lives on through his family and through the song he wrote; “Clouds”.
Several months on, his mother, Laura Sobiech, has published a book entitled “Fly a Little Higher,” which details the journey that herself and her family went through with Zach after discovering he had osteosarcoma. Whilst it is heart-wrenching to read, it is a beautiful story about a young boy who didn’t let cancer get in the way of anything.
“On November 13, 2009, cancer showed itself like a demon peeking out of a dark bedroom closet. It was the disease I thought would never haunt our family – we had no family history with that monster lurking in the background…” – Laura Sobiech
Fly A Little Higher is the result of one mother’s thoughts, worries and experiences put to paper. Whilst reading the book it almost felt as though I left my own little reality for a moment and stepped into the lives of the Sobiech’s. Reading something that is so raw and so real, awoke a certain realisation inside me that plagues the minds of people at night or in philosophy class; one day we’re going to die and there’s not really much you can do about it; but you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living. The book is a glimpse into another family’s life; how they dealt with grief and above all, how they supported each other. Death is just another part of living, a means to an end of a short or very long life.
“Denial is such a crazy thing. Sometimes it hinders people from seeing what is real and keeps them in a place where they should not be, but sometimes it’s the only thing that allows people to live freely in the midst of terrifying circumstances that would otherwise cripple them.” – Laura Sobiech
I think that you can learn a lot from Zach and the words of Laura. We each go about our daily lives facing our own struggles and facing our own problems. It is strange to step into someone else’s mind and read words that have such life and rawness incorporated into them. In my family, cancer is a present demon, on my father’s and my mother’s side, so I was able to relate and empathise in some small way.
Fly A Little Higher is a book that opens your mind to another family’s world with their various struggles and how they overcome them. Learning from Zach, life is about being positive in every way you can, and making sure you do good by other people, every opportunity you have.