Since Mark was attacked on Wednesday, some of you have shared some incredible stories of your own. I have read them all, shared many with Mark, and will reply to most of them next week. I am stunned at the amount of violent attacks that people have suffered, most of them random over the years but as many of you have said, no one seemed to care unless you know someone. A friend of mind reminded me of the murder of Scott Asher who I went to school with. Another one reminded me of a friend who still suffers brain injuries. Random attacks with lasting consequences.
This isn’t the first time something random happened to Mark. He was sitting with some friends at A.H. Browne Park one early evening and a guy threw a container of urine at the group. Another day just a block away, a prostitute who was working the street at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon attacked him and Ollie demanding money. Luckily they were able to run away. Life in Mayfair.
I have been asked how Mark is recovering. His jaw still hurts but it is healing. His headaches are gone and he seems to be responding better. He will walk to and from school tomorrow. As he said today, he has to do it sometime and it may as well be on Monday. The worst thing happened today when a friend’s mother offered to bring him cookies to make him feel better. He can’t chew them. Rather than risk more injury, Oliver and the dog have offered to eat them.
He has been out of the house walking the dog. Tonight was his first time being out at night since the attack. When I asked him if there was any problems he said, “other than walking the dog, no.”
Most of the emails and people stopping by have been really helpful and kind. Some of them were really weird and some are just dangerous.
- A few people emailed me and suggested that Mark must be involved in drugs or gangs. It’s like random violence can’t ever happen. I understand the fear and the need to rationalize it but the need to blame victims isn’t helpful.
- Some wondered if race was a factor and that got dark quickly.
- One teacher, yes a teacher told me that she thinks the only way that teens will be safe from the police is if they join a gang. I really don’t know what to do with that one. It Donald Trump crazy on so many levels. I think she read the joke that Mark said to Darren Hill in which he said, “I don’t blame police unless I find out it was them that hit me with the Emergency Response Vehicle”. Of course he had just finished reading about the police that ran over the dog three times and claimed they thought it was a coyote. Anyways, it was bizarre to think that a teacher in Saskatoon thinks that “gangs are the answer”. I also think I have read comments on The StarPhoenix over the years by that teacher where he/she espouses the same thing.
- More than one person has asked if I would consider letting Mark carry a knife for his own protection. Again, that is getting crazy. Mark has a knife and he carries it in a backpack on hikes. That it is it. As I have told him, the only time to use this is for making a fire and if a Grizzly Bear challenges you straight up to a knife fight. I can’t envision a single instance where any kid pulling a knife in self defense ends well and a lot of cases where it ends tragically.
So yeah, appreciated the supportive comments, thought I would share some of the weirder ones. Mark got a kick out of the weird ones too. He’s going to pass on it, unless he find a gang of knife wielding grizzly bears, then he is in.
I have some more serious thoughts on it in The StarPhoenix tomorrow.