I’m admittedly late to the Zach Sobiech story, yet humbled just the same by the teenage boy who spread music and happiness despite his terminal diagnosis of osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that took his life on May 20. 

While Zach’s hit song “Clouds” attracted people to his story, and eventually lured BMI to sign him to their label, another song of his hit home for me. “Fix Me Up,” sung by Zach and his bandmate Sammy Brown, expresses his devastation at having to leave, and her despair at being left behind. “One more moment please,” her haunting refrain, broke my heart. 

What would any of us give for one more moment? 

And yet, in dreams, when I reunite with my mom, they’re not filled with hugs, or amazement at seeing one another again, or catch-ups of our lives. Even asleep, I’m too busy trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy, as to not let on to her that she’s dead/dying. The same way she was too out of it, and we were too scared of upsetting her, to tell her she was dying back then. 

Zach was a teenager dying, the same way I was a teenager when my mom was dying. Yet he and his family embraced saying goodbye, saying I love you, admitting it was the end.

Our goodbye was slightly more subtle. I crawled into Mom’s hospital bed and lay beside her, resting my cheek on her chest. I tried to hide my tears. 

“You’re a good kid, Miss,” she said.

“You’re a good mom, Mom,” I said. 

Sending much love to Zach’s family and friends in their time of grief and healing. You’re a good family, Sobiechs.