Sunday, December 28, 2008

A very bad thing and a very good person

Hello, all --

This is to ask for your prayers, good wishes, bright thoughts and/or any healing energy you could send for a really nice person who is in the hospital right now.

Last night we heard a lot of police & ambulance sirens very close to the house. Derek went out to see what it was. When he got back, he told me that there had been an armed robbery at the convenience store just a couple of blocks away from us. The owner (73 years old, and one of the nicest people you could want to know) had been shot in the arm, and the bullet pierced his chest. Those of you who are in Columbus may already have heard the story on the news.

At least one of us (Derek and/or me) pops into the Clintonville Market more or less weekly. Mohamed (the owner) is always cheerful and friendly. When I go in, Mohamed & I always chat for a few minutes, and he never fails to ask about Derek. When Derek goes there, I can pretty well assume that he won’t be back for at least half an hour, because if the shop isn’t busy, the two of them will talk.

Derek happened to pop in the day Mohamed got his U.S. citizenship. Mohamed was so happy to have become a U.S. citizen; he showed Derek his citizenship certificate with such pride.

One day when I mentioned to Mohamed that the shop had run out of a certain type of incense I really liked, it was back on the shelf within a week, and it’s been there ever since.

Once when I was there, a large, tattooed, leather-clad biker-type was in line ahead of me. I had a moment of nervousness for the small and gentle Mohamed -- and found out I was totally wrong when the customer got to the counter and a grin lit up his face.

“Hey, Mohamed! How ya doin’, man?”

There’s always a collection box on the counter to help a pet rescue organization.

And some bastard shot him last evening.

I stopped there today to drop off a card for him. The store was closed, but I left our card along with a number of other notes and a bouquet of flowers people had left.

The largest note on the door -- probably from his son -- said that Mohamed’s condition was now listed as fair. It was previously critical, so I am taking comfort in that.

This kind of thing shouldn’t happen to anyone. Not anyone -- but somehow, especially not someone who brings cheer just with his smile and his hello. Someone who was so proud of obtaining his U.S. citizenship (and was shot, apparently, by someone who was born here). Someone who works so hard every day, even at the age of 73. Someone who inspires a neighborhood to drop off flowers, cards and notes at his shop.

I am finding it very hard not to wish that when the ... individual ... is caught, he would be turned over to the customers for the administration of justice. I imagine, though, that they’ll do it in the traditional fashion.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.