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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech: the legacy that impacts everyone

This is the official cover art for musician Zach Sobiechs hit single Clouds. The song was released in 2012 a year before his death.
Fair use image from Rock The Cause
This is the official cover art for musician Zach Sobiech’s hit single “Clouds”. The song was released in 2012 a year before his death.

Eleven years have passed since the world was graced with the heartfelt melody of Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds,” a song with a timeless message of hope and humility. Sharing the innermost thoughts of his life and battle with cancer through the lyrics, the single skyrocketed its way to the top charts. Its safe to say his beautiful melody has become more than just a heartfelt memory; its a legacy that continues to impact countless lives in profound ways.

Diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma in 2009 and later died from it in 2013, Zach made the most of each day simply by being a teenager with a knack for jokes and a big heart. 

Zach would tease people like many other boys, but his love and care for every human made him so easy to get along with. For high school, that wasn’t often the case. He was a jokester but never in a harmful way and his confidence gave him an aura that everyone wanted to be around,” past girlfriend of Zach, Amy Adamle said. 

“His example challenges me every day to look for whatever is noble, right, beautiful, and true and to find something to be grateful for in all of my circumstances.”

— Laura Sobiech

Adamle and Zach started dating the summer before their senior year and ever since then, she gives credit to every meaningful friendship, relationship and job in her life to him. After going to prom together, graduating and embracing life in all its craziness, the power couple’s clock seemed to be on its last tick all too soon. 

“When he wrote Clouds, it became his way of saying goodbye. Thinking about saying goodbye was overwhelming and honestly impossible to fathom, so for Zach, he was able to do it through song, and having that then and still today means so much,” Adamle explained.

Lyrics like “We’ll sit there holding hands and everything will be just right, and maybe someday I’ll see you again. We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end,” puts oneself in a position of empathy for Adamle and Zach’s family. 

Zach’s mother, Laura Sobiech explained, “I was blown away by the intensity of what he was saying through the lyrics, but also by the lightness of the song. It was a perfect blend of sadness and hope mixed together.” 

Laura had been Zach’s #1 companion since the first time she held him. After unfolding the blood-curdling news of his Osteosarcoma, the one person fighting harder than Zach was his mother. Having to watch her child slowly lose their light and succumb to death is something most people do not even wish on their worst enemies. Enduring mental and spiritual obstacles daily, Laura’s glimpses of light came from her firm foundation in Christ. 

“Without the knowing that God’s love for Zach is more powerful than my own and the hope that Zach upon his passing would be more truly alive than he ever was on Earth, I’m not sure I would be able to raise my head from my pillow each morning,” Laura added. 

Zach’s grandmother Nancy Friedrich recalls asking God, “why does he have to go through this?” during Zach’s treatments. It wasn’t until he started writing “Clouds” that Friedrich found hope.

“Once he wrote the song and it was recorded and hit the internet, it didn’t take long to see, oh, this is what the Lord had in mind for this boy, He did have a great plan for him!” Friedrich explained.

Zach’s soulful voice and message continue to inspire and uplift, creating a sense of unity among listeners who find solace in the shared experience of facing life’s storms. One of the remarkable aspects of “Clouds” is its enduring appeal, with artists from various genres paying tribute to Zach through covers and renditions. These reinterpretations not only showcase the song’s universal message but also highlight its adaptability, ensuring that Zach’s legacy reaches new audiences across generations. 

Despite adversity, Zach’s family used his story to generate something positive out of it and established the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. This fund, fueled by the success of “Clouds,” has become a beacon of hope for families affected by osteosarcoma, funding research and providing support for those navigating life with this cancer. Zach’s legacy, intertwined with the melody of “Clouds,” lives on through the magnificent impact of this fund. 

As his loved ones commemorate the 11th anniversary of “Clouds,” it’s a clear fact that Zach’s message continues to deeply resonate with people from all walks of life. In a world known for chaos and uncertainty, “Clouds” serves as a reminder to remember the power of hope, the beauty of human connection, and the everlasting impact one person can have on the community and world. 

Even though the world did not get a little more time with Zach, his presence has made the world a little nicer to live in. 

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About the Contributor
Gigi Zawislak
Gigi Zawislak, Broadcast Editor-in-Chief
Hey, my name is Gigi Zawislak and I'm a field reporter as well as a EIC for broadcast! I'm also vice president and social chair of two school choirs. I love to sing and capture the moment with photos and videos. I am most looking forward to training in new broadcast prodigies.   

Comments (2)

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  • A

    Adelaide BielkeFeb 6, 2024 at 9:06 am

    I think that it is really powerful that Gigi got the interviews of Zach’s girlfriend and grandmother to gain a much closer perspective on him. It is also cool to see that his story continues to impact people even though it was years ago. Gigi does a really good job with putting emotion into the story while maintaining the story.

  • L

    Laurajean ZawislakJan 8, 2024 at 9:44 am

    Although no one desires suffering it is incredible how it connects us to others and to God. Gigi explores this journey of empathy and hope with sensitivity and compassion for Zach and his loved ones. But most of all she inspires us to continue his legacy for future generations and to recognize the value of a life well lived and the power of a single soul to reach beyond all expectations.