In high school English we had to write a eulogy for a girl we never met and knew nothing about, based upon a few facts. I’m thinking about that now as I write this post because what I’m really thinking about is Zach Sobiech, the 18-year-old who just passed away from osteosarcoma cancer Monday. I don’t know him. I just heard about him in the news.
You may have heard about him too. He had the number one song on iTunes on Tuesday, “Clouds”. His songs continue to climb the charts and “Clouds” has over 5 million hits on YouTube.
In the news stories, Zach said that when he found out he had a year to live, he decided he was going to try to live a lifetime in that one year. (You can read about him here and here.) His songs were good-bye letters to his family. I pray the girls, Shaun and I have our full lifetimes. I also pray we live each day fully.
I suppose Zach can never leave the mark on us strangers that he will leave in the hearts of his family and friends. But he has touched 5 million people with his music. And they hope to raise $1 million from his iTunes sales – all of which goes to his fund for cancer research. That’s a pretty big footprint for someone who wasn’t even 18 a full month.
So as we left for Omaha this morning, the radio show mentioned that Zach’s funeral was this morning and played a little part of “Clouds”. I cried.
Then, as we drove through a cloudless Iowa, Shaun and I debated the outcome of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions (I am not lying, we’re nerds) and I juggled the girls’ video devices and snacks. After Des Moines, and having exhausted such scintillating topics as wind turbines for power, cattle mating and the death penalty (this was our version of living life fully as we drove across Iowa, I guess), I decided to fire up my phone and found “Clouds” on YouTube. I cried, a lot, just as we entered sunny Nebraska.
And I looked up and saw a “Z” in the clouds in the sky. The only clouds in the sky.
|The slash across the bottom was very clear in person. The streak on the right was from a plane going by just then.|