I read this book on Wednesday, May 28th 2014.
My Grammy died on Sunday, May 25th. She had been dealing with a sarcoma cancer for two years. I was blessed to be there beside her, touching her arm and rearranging her red Rosary beads as she breathed her last earthly breath. When Fly A Little Higher came, I wasn't sure if I should/could read this book right now. This was an intimate story that Laura Sobiech was sharing about her son Zach, and I wondered if maybe reading this book would be cathartic for my family.
20 pages into this book, I could feel panic rising in my chest. Cancer.... cancer... I couldn't stand reading about cancer.
But then, the gentle heartfelt words from Zach's Mom began to seep into my heart, and I saw that this wasn't a book about cancer, not entirely.
This was a book about a boy who lived like my Grammy did: fully, passionately, with abandon. Zach loved people fiercely, reached out to those who were hurting or lonely, loved the Catholic faith, and didn't let thoughts of death cheat him of life. Neither did he hide or pretend that he wasn't afraid.
He experienced the pain and suffering and he became a channel of God's grace flowing through him to the world.
I just realized something else, about five minutes after finishing this book: my Grammy now knows Zach. They're together now, JB and Zach. That's a weird and beautiful thing to think about, God gathering all of His people to Him. They never met on earth, and I don't know if she ever heard the song Clouds, but I can picture her talking with this incredible young man whose soul was refined through his journey.
This is a book about life, seen through the eyes of a Mom who watched her beloved boy grow, change, suffer patiently, keep trying to have fun, seek God, and write some very profound words in songs that spoke to the world.
I'm glad I read it now. I think I will pass it along to my younger sister, and perhaps an Aunt or two when they seem ready.
Thank you Booklook bloggers for my review copy.