Sweet, compassionate, gentle, understanding, brave
As a child and young man, Zane was a joyful, kind and generous soul who lived to serve his friends and family in any way he could. From a young age, he helped around his home and on his grandparent’s farm, always eager to please people and make them smile. He was intelligent, calm and sweet and enjoyed being around others, but also needed time to be alone to recharge.
In high school, Zane was an athlete in both wrestling and football and spent summers life-guarding at a local pool. He liked to cook, loved eating out, enjoyed local travel and had a strong work ethic. He also spent time fishing, hunting, riding trails on a four-wheeler and video gaming. His genuine passion was animals; he had a deep intuition when it came to understanding their needs, care and training.
Zane had a strong mechanical aptitude and chose a career in auto parts manufacturing after graduating from high school and often spoke about joining the Navy. He loved kids and looked forward to getting financially secure so he could buy property in the country, start a family and have a slew of dogs around to train and enjoy.
His mother Kristi shared this memory: “When Zane was in fifth grade, each student was to bring a dish of food for the class to share, Zane wanted to take bacon, just bacon.” So she fried six pounds of bacon for his class. When Zane came home he was excited, saying that the bacon was the most popular dish of the day. “Our house smelled like bacon for a month after that,” his mom said.
Because she was living out of state during the time of Zane’s active addiction, his mom didn’t see the full effects of it, or experience the agony of physically watching her son go through what he did. Three months prior to Zane’s death, when she visited, she found him thin and pale, but he wouldn’t admit his addiction to her. Soon he was fired from his long-term job for sleeping on the clock and started asking her for money to make his bills.
His mom said, “I used to believe that people became addicted because something terrible happened to them in their lives, and they used drugs as an escape.” She, like many, didn’t know addiction was a disease, and thought people who experienced it were weak-willed or incapable of doing better. She now has a deep compassion for those who struggle with substance use disorder and those who care about them. “It can happen to anyone, no matter their life experiences or station in life, these are people who are loved by someone and fighting a real illness.”
“I lost my one and only child to this horrible disease,” Kristi said. ‘I want to be a comfort for those who are struggling with their loss and more active in the fight to stop deadly drugs from flowing into the United States and killing our loved ones.’
Zane’s mother, Kristi Handly-Parsons, provided the information for this narrative.
January 22, 1994-February 12, 2017
Age 23-Lived with addiction 2-3 years