I have been blogging on WordPress for about three months now. I started my blog as a platform for a future in writing. However, it has become more than that. Along the way, I have inspired people to acknowledge their soul…to listen to their heart and follow it. It occurred to me tonight that I haven’t given proper credit to the person who gave me the courage to turn my back on a life of conformity and reach for the stars. That person is Zach Sobiech.
At the age of 14, Zach was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Last May, he was told by doctors that he had about a year to live. Instead of giving in to fear and grief, he decided to become a Superstar…and that’s precisely what he did. He formed a band with his life-long friend called A Firm Handshake and started writing music. His first song, Clouds, became an instant YouTube success. At the time of this writing, it has brought in almost 8 million views. Zach died at the tender age of 18 on May 20, 2013.
I didn’t know about Zach until after his death. I recall being somewhat offended when I received an email from Upworthy titled This Kid Just Died. What He Left Behind Is Wondtacular. Little did I know that clicking on the link would have such an impact on my life.
Without going into a whole spiel about my background, suffice it to say that after working like a slave all of my life, working two jobs for the past two years, graduating from college at the age of 40, and ending an 8-yr marriage to a Narcissist, I realized I hadn’t done anything with my life. In fact, I ‘ve been following the herd and eating cow patties for over 20 years. I’ve exchanged a major portion of my life to give someone else’s life meaning…bringing in next to peanuts in the process. After watching Zach’s courageous story, I decided in that very moment I would chart a different course…and I haven’t looked back since.
I keep trying and failing to summon up the right combination of adjectives to describe his music about living richly in the shadow of death. So, I’ll leave you with Zach’s own words…
“It’s really simple, actually,’’ Sobiech said in a documentary produced about him by Soul Pancake, a media company. “It’s just, try and make people happy. Maybe you have to learn it over time, maybe you have to learn it the hard way, but as long as you learn it, you’re going to make the world a better place.
“I want everyone to know you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”
Zach’s songs make me smile and cry at the same time. I hope you’ll watch the below documentary by Soul Pancake highlighting Zach’s final days. Perhaps it will change your life, too.
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