Finishing up our end of the job
My Father, Dennis Clarke, has been the single most influential and incredible friend I have ever had.
In 2011, he had a stroke which left him unable to use his left arm and leg, impaired his speech and caused numerous more problems. I spent close to two years in Hawaii caring for him during this time until he was able to live on his own again.
Within the past few weeks, he has had another debilitating stroke and contracted a serious infection in his leg causing his diabetes to run rampant. At this moment, he has been taken off of foods because he cannot swallow and is in the care of hospice doctors. His life expectancy is between 3 days and 2 weeks. He is mentally still there and can understand the people around him just fine, but he cannot speak or move much at all.
With the help of my beautiful mother, I am flying there on Tuesday, May 9th, to spend the final days of his life at his side and to see him off into the next.
This man did more for the world than I could ever possibly write. He spent 45 years working for a human rights organization that dealt with horrific medical malpratice, phychiatric abuse and blatant wrongdoing at the hands of major pharmecutical industries. This career did not come without sacrifice. To be blunt, his life was threatened almost the entire time. I remember phone calls and the death threats they carried, and even a few more detailed situations which woke me up to the fact that we were never really too safe. But my father lived by the commanding presence of his ideals, the most notable of which was The Price of Freedom "Constant alertness, constant willingness to fight back."
I will testify with absolute certanty that he never gave up. He fought and he saved the lives of thousands who had fallen into the death ridden hands of criminal doctors, literally.
I have seen him stop to help more people than I can easily remember, pulling people out of wrecked cars, giving medical aid to bikers who were in near fatal crashes etc. he was someone who knew that something could be done to help and he chose to do whatever he could. He never faultered. His desire to see real change was something sewn into the fibers of his soul, to claw and bite his way toward a better existence for all was his passion and reason for existing.
He did over 40,000 hours of radio and tv, traveled from state to state continuously just to do his work, made Oprah cry, walked a baby elephant down the streets of DC, answered EVERY one of my infinite childhood questions and still managed to take me to the Florida Aquarium every Sunday. But above all else, somehow, he put up with my incredible amount of crap as I ran around radio stations, undoubtedly shortening the lifespan of those watching me due to stress.
He was, is, and always be the most brilliant and stellar example of a genuine and loving person I've known. He cared so much, he showed me what it was to truly love the life you lived, in spite of all invitations not to. He taught me more valuable information about that life than I ever learned from a school or book. The man truly was one of our great elders, someone who passed down his knowledge and experience to prepare me for a wild, screaming and powerful legacy - one that I fully intend to bring to the world with wreckless abandon, just as he did.
If you ever needed a lesson in laughter, he was the one to teach you just how loud your smile could be and how much fun it was to hear another speak. He taught me that the most basic form of art was to simply be alive, to be wonderfully captured by the motion of the world and to do something worth watching.
I recently got sick myself, almost landing in a hospital with a bad lymphatic infection and have not been able to work, so I am very lacking in my finances. due to the current circumstances, he and I are not asking for medical funds, just money for the return ticket (I have a one-way currently and will stay by his side till he passes on) food, possibly a car rental etc. along with going to see him through this, I am also charged with getting his belongings in order, keeping those important and sentimental things which our family will cherish and bringing back whatever is worth shipping. The shipping of books and his personal belongings will also cost quite a bit as they are all going back to Florida with me. My family is doing everything they can to help, but there is more than they can easily take on. None of this includes funeral costs yet, but it does include breaking my dad out of hospice so I can drag him to the beach, where I know he will smile and fart one more time at the hot gold of a Hawaiian sunset.
Anything that my friends or associates can give during this time will be overwhelmingly appreciated and go toward sorting out his end of life priorities and keeping me there as long as he needs me to be.
We come into this life not knowing how to speak and move by our own volition, so we turn to our mothers, fathers and the ones who brought us into the world. When those mothers and fathers grow old and lose the ability to speak and move by their own volition, they turn to their sons and the ones they brought into this world.
All I am trying to do is return the biggest favor anyone has ever done for me, being there when I needed guidance and support, which I will joyfully and enthusiastically accomplish with all my heart and incredible love for him.
I could use a little bit of help with the monetary end of the task.
Much Love and Aloha,
All are welcome to join me in the pursuit of greatness which he seemed to simply soar towards with ease.
We are still accepting donations as this has cost more than my family can take on at the moment. This fundraiser has been the main driving force behind me getting all of the legal work done and will now go toward the funeral costs and anything else which might come up.
I've realized at this point that dying is expensive, so I'm going to do my best in the future to just go ahead and live forever because I'm not a fan of hidden fees.
After talking it over with my beautiful mother, we would like to set the new target at five thousand. We still have a funeral to arrange, which I will be writing an invitation for within the next day or so.
Thank you again to everyone for your continued and amazing support.
Much love, Aloha, ARC and best wishes to you all. I had no idea that I had so many allies. Now, I'll never forget it.