Ardyth Clark has for years worked tirelessly to assist alcoholic and addicts who suffer. When she and her partner purchased the old convent that is now Leipzig Serenity Retreat, she discovered the perfect place to turn her greatest hopes to fruition. Ardyth, with her eclectic work history and diploma in Social Work also brings 30 years of sobriety to the retreat.
Strength, courage, and calmness. Ardyth is dedicated to this house and her family, here she shares her personal journey with her brother Dwight, his addiction and how she remembers him.
In loving memory of DWIGHT
What you don’t see, but need to know, about the video below:
I chose the pictures in this video with love and care. The first picture is of my curly haired little brother with his 1st birthday cake. Next is a picture of him and I on a couch in the kitchen holding a stuffed toy duck. I can remember the day my Mom took the picture. We were so loved.
In the next picture he is ten years old. He hated his freckles and he was starting to have some problems in school. He was a lot bigger than most of the kids in his class.
In the next picture he is just 16. He had run away from home and ended up living in Fort St John, BC. Drinking was already a big problem by then. It seemed he was destined for a life of addiction even in his teens.
Here he is at the age of 22 at the Stony Mountain Penitentiary on visiting day. It was so hard to go see him there. Drunk and high, he’s tried to rob a hotel with a stolen car. He got “Hard Time.” 6 years and 6 months. I’m sure it seemed like a great plan at the time — at least in his alcohol fueled mind.
The next picture was taken in Prince George, BC. I had not seen Dwight for about 3 years. I started to cry when I saw him. He was about 6’4” and usually weighted about 250 lbs. Here he was 156 lbs. He had just gotten out of the hospital. We had a picture of the 4 of us sibling taken that day. This was the first picture of all of us in at least 20 years.
The next picture I still find hard to look at. My brother Dwight was dying. His eyes tell the story of his life of suffering. This picture was taken after I spent the day on the street with him. We picked bottles and cigarette butts. We ate soup and sandwiches at a shelter. He introduced me to everyone he knew. “This is my sister” he said. “She’s sober” he added every time with pride.
I learned a lesson I will never forget that day. Dwight had a life — his life. He was happy in his own way. He had friends. They cared about him. I didn’t need to live it with him or approve. It was his life, not mine. It was the best day we had spent together since we were small children.
When people read a memorial it can never sum up the love and hopes and dreams of a family. Please understand that we share our loved ones on this page so that maybe another addict or alcoholic can change the ending and not have the words ” In Loving Memory” written under their name, way too young.
OWNER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Of Leipzig
Leipzig Serenity Retreat is your Trusted Regina drug and alcohol treatment center