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Don, 59, Palm Springs, California

In 1986, [returning from a four-day trip] I pulled in my driveway, and a car pulled in behind me. I got out of the car and a man got out of the other car with a gun. He told me to open my house and get inside.

He told me to get in my bedroom…He told me to strip naked…He took my wallet. It was empty. He was furious….I told him to take the three jewelry boxes in my dresser. I had just moved…and had packing boxes everywhere. He grabbed the jewelry boxes. He told me to get on my knees and lean against my bed. He cocked his gun, put it at the base of my neck and told me he was going to shoot me.

I started praying The Lord's Prayer out loud. He told me to, "Shut up." I told him that if I was going to die, I wanted to pray to God for his soul. He stood behind me quiet for what seemed like minutes. He then withdrew his gun from my head, told me to count to 1,000 and left.

My only regret was that one of the jewelry boxes contained my dead mother's jade ring that she gave to me as she was dying. One month later, I unpacked a box full of towels. At the bottom was my mother's jade ring. It was my sign to forgive the robber—I know it was. From that moment on I was at peace with the robbery, and I forgave him.


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