Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech

In mid-May 2013, a friend "liked" a video on Facebook that I clicked to see what it was about.  The video was 20-ish minutes long, but I got so sucked into it that I lost track of time.  The video was from the Youtube Channel called Soul Pancake.  The video was titled "My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech".  You can watch it HERE.  I promise you won't regret spending the 20 minutes it takes to fall absolutely in love with this endearing family, their ambitious and generous, tender-hearted son Zach and all his friends.

When Zach was 14, he complained of a pain in his hip to his mom.  Like most mothers of teen boys, she tucked it away in her mind but sort of felt like it would get better or go away on its own.  When his hip was still bothering him a couple weeks later, they went to the doctor to check it out.  It was bone cancer.  Osteosarcoma.  Soon after they found it in his lungs as well.  Off and on for 3 years, he fought recurrences of the cancer, but by the time he was a senior in high school, the family knew his cancer was terminal and they were looking at a number of months rather than years.

Zach's mother wrote this book shortly after Zach's death in May 2013.  He died just days after I watched his Last Days video.  Apparently I was not the only one who watched that video.  You see, Zach was a musician and a year or more before his death he wrote a song called Clouds that eventually hit #1 on the Billboard list as well as iTunes.  It was his personal 'good-bye' to his family, his girlfriend, his friends.  That song sort of made him a superstar.  He & his life-long friend wrote a number of other songs that they recorded as well, but Clouds was the biggie.

Mrs. Sobiech's writing is phenomenal.  Through watching the video (and the one year later follow-up video that is also on youtube now) and reading this book, I feel like I lived next door to the family and walked their cancer journey with them.  In a lot of ways, I wish I had lived next door.  This sweet family exemplify what it means to face a cancer battle with faith and hope, and then to face death and heartache with profound dignity & trust in God.

I highly recommend the book!  Very sweet.  Brutally honest.  Tender.  So good!

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