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Sue Solis

As a young mother, she survived a gun shot wound to the abdomen by a hired hitman. 12 years after that traumatic event, she was called at random by the shooter who left a phone message from prison. His one request? To see and meet her. Sue waited two months after his call and met him. There, both of them came to grips with the event that had so affected their lives.
Ding-dong. The doorbell rang and resounded through the house. Sue Solis walked through her home in San Leandro and opened the door. "Are you Susan?", the man asked casually. "Yes", she replied. Without pausing he replied. "Well, I do yard work, and do you need someone to do your yard?". Surprised at the question that seemed to already know the answer, Susan said "Why yes, I actually do." Little would she know that this simple conversation would change her life forever.

Sue Solis lived the life of a mother and everyday American. She would hardly seem to be the person that would suffer an attack from a stranger. However on that March day in 1986, she would come to grips with a reality that would rock her world. As she was showing the presumed 'yard worker' around her property, the man pulled a gun on her, pointing it lethally at the back of her head. Unaware of what was happening, Sue continued to show him around, until the sound of her 7-year old son's voice reached her ears. At this, the gunman lowered his weapon, keeping it hidden from view. He then requested the use of her phone. She complied and showed him inside.

She waited a respectful distance away from the man in order to give him some privacy while using the phone. As she looked down at some bills and waited for him, she failed to notice the deadly .380 automatic gun that had reappeared, pointing right at her. In a moment, she fell to the floor with a bullet wound that went completely through her abdomen. She looked up to see the man struggling with the now jammed gun. She made a break for the door, beating him to it, and stumbled outside.

As she stumbled outside she found a fellow neighbor, a former helicopter pilot in Vietnam, who grabbed her and put her in his truck and sped off to the hospital. After 4-5 hours worth of surgery, Sue Solis survived the shooting and spent the next several weeks recovering.

This, however, is only part of the story.

12 years later, Sue finds herself listening to a voicemail on her message machine. It is her attempted killer, apologizing for what he did and requesting for one thing - to come and see him in prison.

It took her two months to accept his request.

When she finally did meet him, it was no easy task. Both of them cried openly for an hour and talked about how the incident had changed their lives. The shooter, spending 12 years in prison for the crime and Sue, who spent a good part of the 12 years working through the healing process - physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Sue then did what most people would consider unthinkable - she forgave him of his crime. According to her interview with Larry King, she states that forgiveness "releases you. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. It's hard to understand, but it's really true."

This story of this amazing woman and her full grasp of what it means to forgive was fully realized when both Sue and her shooter came face to face with one another and brought closure to the event. Through the power of forgiveness, Sue is able to let go of resentment and hatred and live a more full and healthy life.

posted on June 10, 2008 10:24 PM / Print /

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