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30 Days of Remembrance: Zach

Zach was a quiet, well-mannered little boy who never got into any mischief. From a very early age, maybe 7 or so, Zach loved his music. We enrolled him in all kinds of sports as a kid, even golf, but aside from snowboarding which he loved, he didn’t take to any of it. He was more of a music and video game kind of kid. He had a CD player when he was very young. He always knew all the words to every song. At 5 foot 9, and somewhere between 155 and 165 pounds, Zach wasn’t a particularly imposing kid. With his moppy brown hair and big brown eyes, at times he barely looked his age.

Zach loved to travel and was just 11 years old the first time he went to Europe in 2001. Zach's sister Kerri was in the Air Force, stationed at the Sembach Air Force Base in Germany, so we took a trip overseas to visit her. That 2001 trip turned out to be the first of many European excursions.

As Zach got older, he got into video games. He loved his Nintendo Game Boy, but music always came first. He had a huge CD collection. Once he got an iPod, he had thousands of songs on it. He categorized all his tunes. He loved hip hop, rap, Tupac, TLC, and Bob Marley. He knew all their music and he decorated his room with their posters.

Zach was an extremely picky eater. We’re not talking trim-the-crust-off-my-bread picky eater. We’re talking take everything off the pizza, including the cheese before I’ll eat it picky eater. Zach wouldn’t eat school lunches; he always took food from home, and it was always the same thing: American cheese on Strohman’s potato bread, Doritos, and a Little Debbie snack cake. Every day, that was his lunch for years.

Zach had a couple jobs throughout high school. He worked at a local KFC and Taco Bell. Upon his high school graduation, Zach was attending Erie Community College to become a Substance Abuse Counselor. He enjoyed his math and computer design classes.

On October 26, 2009, we lost Zach. He was just 19 years old. Zach expressed his thoughts in journals and in the songs he wrote. Using his words, we started a blog to raise awareness of this horrible epidemic that continues to take too many young lives. I believe that when we share Zach’s writings the reader will see that his story could be their son or daughter. Zach didn't want to be afflicted with this disease, but the drugs changed who he was and controlled him.

Every day we wonder what Zach would be doing now. Would he be traveling? Finishing college? Starting his own business? Writing music? Why was he taken from us so soon? I miss my son beyond words!

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