What would you do if you found out your time on this earth was limited?
Sobiech was diagnosed in November of 2009, and he had several surgeries with months of chemotherapy. There is no effective treatment for this diagnosis, and at the end of May 2012, the cancer was found in his pelvis and lungs.
Doctors told Sobiech he had to have his leg amputated, and he wouldn’t be able to sit up because of the cancer spreading in his body. At that point, the teen was told he only had a few months to live, so Sobiech decided to embrace life before he had to say goodbye.
How did he say goodbye? Sobiech always had a love for music, and that was how he liked to communicate with the people he cared for. It was his way of saying goodbye to all of his loved ones, especially his mom, and to show that things would be OK. Of the music Sobiech wrote, the two songs highlighted in the movie were “Fix Me Up” and “Clouds.”
“Fix Me Up” was co-written by Sobiech and his longtime best friend, Sammy Brown. The two teens both shared a love for singing and writing music together; it was their way of just having a regular conversation.
“Fix Me Up” acted as a form of closure for the young adults. Sobiech used it to reassure Brown that he would be OK and to show how much he adored her. In turn, Brown sings the song for Sobiech so he would know how much she would miss him and the pain she will feel in his absence, but also as a way for him to know she will move forward. The meaning behind the beautiful song had me weeping during this part of the movie.
“Clouds,” written by Sobiech, was a way for him to say goodbye to his girlfriend, but it was so much more than just a farewell. It was inspirational. It taught people to “go up, up, up and fly a little higher.” It was both a way for Sobiech to say goodbye to his family as well as a way to tell them how happy and content he was during his last few months.
Justin Baldoni, the director of “Clouds,” had the pleasure of meeting Sobiech before his passing. He was so inspired by Sobiech’s story and all he stood for that Baldoni decided to make a documentary about him called “My Last Days.”
It was a two-episode documentary sharing Sobiech’s incredible story, as well as his life with family and friends. Unsurprisingly, they were all blessed to have someone like Sobiech in their lives, and they were mesmerized by how positive he always was, knowing the end was coming.
Even after the documentary’s release, Baldoni wasn’t done honoring Sobiech; he wanted the world to know Sobiech’s story. Baldoni kept his word, and seven years later, “Clouds” came to be.
What was so inspirational to me about Zach Sobiech was that he knew his time was coming to an end, but he chose to be happy. He chose to embrace every day with hope and joy. He chose to do something with the limited amount of time he had. He chose to make something for himself and others by doing something that he was passionate about.
Sobiech was 18 when he passed, yet he had accomplished so much. He found his voice in a time where others might have given up. He was a gift to this world, and I’m grateful to Justin Baldoni for introducing me to Sobiech’s story.
We could all learn something from Sobiech. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so we should try to have the mindset of living today like it’s our last. What would you do? How would you embrace life?
I’m hoping this movie inspires people to — as cheesy as it sounds — go after their dreams and live life to the fullest. If there’s something that you aren’t happy about, change it. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, go after it. If there are people you love and can’t live without, tell them.
Choose to get rid of all the negativity in your life and just be happy; find peace, and find love. You matter, and you are deserving of every good thing that happens to you.
We should all strive to be a bit like Zach Sobiech and to have hope. Hope that there is a reason for what happens to you and those around you. Hope to embrace the life you have and move forward from the sad moments. Hope to live every day like it’s your last. Hope to go after what you love. Hope to keep the people you care for close. Hope to never give up. Hope to keep flying.
You never know what good things may happen. Three days after his passing in 2013, “Clouds” reached the No. 1 spot on iTunes. After the release of his touching story, the song is once again being listened to by millions. Zach Sobiech wanted people to know “that he was a kid that went down fighting and didn’t really lose.”