This is Zach Sobiech.
Maybe you have heard his story. If not, you aren’t going to want to miss it. It’s one of those really, really, really special stories that gets you Uh! right there. You’ll likely be thinking about him the rest of the day, and that won’t be a bad thing. Not at all.
Zach, much to my disheartenment, is no longer living with us here on Earth. He’s been taken; to the Place I plan to go, just not yet. But he’s left something behind, a piece of him, something we can look at and hold, to remind us that Good People Do Happen.
Perhaps you’re a bit busy right now. That’s okay. So was I. When you have twenty minutes or so to spare — or carve away, yes, I know how it is! — from the humdrum, do watch this video. I won’t attempt to sum up; it would be like trying to explain what a snowflake looks like with you having never learned words such as: beautiful, white, delicate.
Zach was fourteen when he learned he would die from terminal cancer. His story touched my heart, and I know it will touch yours, too.
*assumes you have watched the video*
How do you feel? I felt torn, if I am being honest.
On the one hand . . . well, you hear and read about the slugs and sleaze happening around the corner and on the other side, and soon enough you begin to think the world is made up of a sort of person solely bent on hurting and taking advantage of people.
The stories broadcasted and regurgitated are sordid ones, mostly about thieves, murderers, terrorists. It gets to me. I start to feel the weight of it, and so I turn off the news, I press play on the CD player in my car. I don’t want to hear it. I am not in denial — I know they’re out there — I am in defense. I must be. For in being a Mollusk Girl, if I listen to that muck too long, I start to absorb the perspective that all things Good have vacated this place. And it’s not true. It really isn’t It’s just that people are a hundred times more likely to spread the debauched and deplorable than they are to share the positive and inspirational. Why is that? beats me, only Heaven knows. But I got one. I caught with my rod, put it in my net, and I’m bringing it to you for supper. Go on now, if you haven’t already, and eat it!
Sometimes I forget how to live. Does that happen to you? I get stuck in between what Zach refers to as “the comfortable and the extreme.” Life sort of drags on for a while, and then something happens, and it’s go-go-go-wooooooo! Then it’s back to what you know, what you’re used to. Don’t get me wrong: I like what I am used to. I like knowing that, every day at 4:00 p.m. I will shut down the computer, change, head to the gym for an extremely physical workout, come home, shower, crawl into bed with a giant bowl of popcorn, Bella, and Michael, and cap off the day with a bit of fiction. This is good for me. Routine suits my lifestyle.
However . . .
it’s when life throws you a curveball and all you can do is grumble about it that comfortable becomes a problem. Life happens in the curveballs. It’s the good stuff you never saw coming. I know this now, having survived a depression I often wondered if it would kill me. Now I look forward to the bends, arcs, and drop-offs. They excite me, because I know that something unexpected is going to happen, and we need that if we are not to get stuck.
Life is a gift. It’s a SH*T load of hard work, but it IS a gift. God is patient with us. He knew when creating us He would be creating a stubborn, often un-malleable race of punks. But He wanted us, anyway, and thank Him for that.
So as I was saying . . . on the one hand it’s such a relief to meet people like Zach. Which is why it makes it so bolluxed and frustrating to lose people like Zach. I just want to ask “Why, Lord. Why did you have to take him. Can’t you see the numbers aren’t with us? If we are to battle the dark, well then, Lord, you must leave us some bit of Light.”
Zach is Light. There’s no questioning it. I never met him, but I feel as though I did, a little. I will remember his story, always. And that’s where maybe, possibly, perhaps I can understand. Maybe. That, in knowing Zach, and seeing how he determined to face-off with mortality, I will become the Light. I will spread it, and it will catch, and soon enough the world could be one GIANT Christmas tree, blinding the eyes of all who look upon it. We could, you know. We could do that. Zach proved it.
Last thing: Zach is my reminder that I have a responsibility to not just accept my life, but to change others’ lives by bringing joy and hope and love to them. I am capable of that. I have it in me, Zach did too, and so do you. We just have to share it.
Until next time . . .