In his support group, Arnie asked for very little. He would often remark
that it was just very nice to be heard.
He'd say, "Hi, I'm Arnie. I have AIDS. I am a recovering alcoholic
and IV drug user. I am an adult child of an alcoholic, a Vietnam era veteran,
a gay man and the father of a seventeen year old girl who lives in California.
I'm too small, I'm not handsome and my nickname is 'Gook' ". Arnie
felt like the poster child for unembraced America.
The desire he felt to see his daughter once before his imminent death
was the very thing that sustained his life. A letter was all that passed
between them in his last year. His love for her generated a devotion to
honor her through his efforts to educate adolescents. He'd lightheartedly
tell them, after talking about his life, that they needed to keep themselves
alive through self respect and responsible behaviors so that they might
live to talk about him someday.
He was afraid that he might not be remembered.
At his wake service, Arnie was honored by his parents and friends for
his kindness and simple nature. His kindness and simplicity were gifts he
perfected after years of personal torment and challenge.
To some favorite words of Arnie's
Back to The Loel Poor Exhibits