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Old 04-17-2006, 08:26 AM   #16
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I took a stand 13 years ago. One of the lines in the sand I drew was that there had to be "acknowledge the pain and hurt they have caused". That is where I have been stuck for six years because they will not. There is never any acknowledgment. I have reached a point where I am starting to believe that they cannot accept what they did for their own sanity. I am not sure how to move beyond that line in the sand.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:54 AM   #17
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I have reached a point where I am starting to believe that they cannot accept what they did for their own sanity
Maybe that's it. I don't have any communication whatsoever with the person in question in my situation so I don't know. I do know what I think of him and honestly it's all very bad. I know that's not being a "good Christian" and all that, but it's a very painful situation and I doubt that he has changed at all. When all is said and done dealing with it has made me a stronger and better person so in that way I am the victor and not the victim. The same is probably true for you.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:07 AM   #18
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I read this last week —*very moving. The pic CNN.com had of the girl crying on the stand broke my heart though. It takes something special, however, to forgive like she did.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:17 PM   #19
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I read this last week —*very moving. The pic CNN.com had of the girl crying on the stand broke my heart though. It takes something special, however, to forgive like she did.
There is something magical about it.
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:04 PM   #20
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That's an amazing story, she's a beautiful little girl.

I've found it's very hard to forgive someone who refuses to apologize/own up to their actions. Sympathize, accept, move on...maybe, but it's very hard, for me at least to really forgive.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:09 AM   #21
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Perhaps forgiveness lies in action--or inaction. To refuse to retaliate, to escalate, to seek to harm the person as they have harmed you. Perhaps forgiveness is not to seek revenge.
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:06 AM   #22
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By Megan Tench, Globe Staff | May 19, 2006

Charlie Stead still loses his composure at the mere mention of her name.

''Little Kai Leigh Harriott," he said softly.

''You cannot talk to me about Kai Leigh without getting me crying," he said, his words dissolving into quiet sobs. ''This is incredible. I'm never like this. But you know, when I saw her, I knew I had to do something."

It has been one month since television footage showed Kai Leigh, looking up from her blue wheelchair, her face soaked with tears, and forgiving the man who fired the gunshot that paralyzed her. The courtroom scene in Boston has replayed on television, over the Internet, and in newspapers across the country and beyond.

Since then, Kai Leigh's mother, Tonya David, has fielded dozens of phone calls, from reporters as far away as Australia and from the producers of ''The Oprah Winfrey Show." Kai Leigh, now 6, has been in People magazine and featured on ''Inside Edition" and is preparing for a free trip to Disney World, long her dream, courtesy of a California businessman.

The outpouring of affection was unexpected and overwhelming, David said.

But it was the gift from Stead, 68, a hardened, retired principal and the owner of a Cambridge bus company, that captured David's heart. Wanting to give Kai Leigh a special gift, an all-expenses paid trip to New York, Stead called friends who knew friends who knew the neighborhood, to find Kai Leigh.

''So one afternoon we just went to the neighborhood and walked around until we found what looked like her house," he said. ''We knocked on the door, and they weren't home. But I was glad we had the right house."

Stead had two vacant seats on a tour of New York offered by his company, Steady Riders Transportation Inc. He wanted to take Kai Leigh and her mother first to a black art gallery in New Jersey, then to Times Square and Broadway to see ''The Color Purple," produced by Oprah Winfrey.

David was hesitant at first, unsure if Kai Leigh was old enough for such a trip.

But she soon accepted, and on May 3 they set off.

''The bus was full, you know, so I got on first and I told the people that we had a celebrity guest," Stead said, chuckling. ''I said, 'Remember when that little girl forgave that foolish man.' And the whole damn bus said, 'Oh, yeah,' all simultaneously. They were nodding their heads and chatting about how they felt for her. And then Kai got on the bus, and it was just great. They just broke out in applause. Kai Leigh was smiling, and I was going to say something more to the folks, but I couldn't. I just got so overwhelmed."

The journey was filled with love, Stead said. No one spoke about the shooting. Instead, Kai Leigh and her newfound fans spoke about jewelry, her new sketch board, and the excitement of a road trip. They spoke about the work displayed in Astah's Art Gallery, since Kai Leigh is an aspiring artist, and they ate soul food at Miss Maude's Spoonbread Too in Harlem.

''It was beee-yooo-tiful," Kai said in a sing-song voice, stretching out both arms.

''Kai's eyes lit up when she was in Times Square," added her mother. ''And she just loved, loved 'The Color Purple.' Being around all those dancers and the singing, she was so happy. At one point, they walk up and down the aisle where she was sitting, and she just stared. It was a wonderful gift. Charlie, oh, he's such a sweet and good man. I mean God sent him to us. He was just amazing, and he really, really took to Kai."

But Stead said the trip was nothing compared to what Kai Leigh gave to him.

''She changed me," he said by telephone from his Cambridge office. ''She just brought so much to that trip. Imagine a little one like this. She represents what I could not do, at her age or my age. I could not forgive. I can be tough. People say I'm really stern. But now I think of her and what she was able to do. Whenever some driver does something stupid, and you just want to lose your mind . . . Now I work on saying to myself, 'Boy, that was stupid,' instead of going ballistic. I don't know how to explain it. For me, listening to Kai Leigh, it was personal."

She was 3 years old on the summer night in 2003 when she was sitting on a third-floor porch, singing songs from the ''Barney" television show, and a stray bullet severed her spine. Last month, Anthony Warren, 29, admitted to firing that bullet in an attempt to scare two women who lived on the first floor. Kai Leigh tearfully faced Warren and said: ''What you done to me was wrong. But I still forgive him."

It moved spectators to tears and admirers to donate. A bank account set up on Kai Leigh's behalf has enough to start a college fund, David said.

In Irvine, Calif., Robert Davenport and his staff were busy this week booking Kai Leigh's next trip, to Disney World in July. After reading her story on the Internet, he called David, who screeched with joy when he made the offer.

''Just seeing her on the Internet with tears in her eyes and forgiving that man was pretty heart-gripping," said Davenport, the owner of Lexxel Funding Group, a mortgage company. ''She'll be in that wheelchair for the rest of her life. We just felt like we could do something for her. It was just so touching. It goes to show you that every day, every hour, you just don't know what's going to happen and that human tragedy is out there. We just don't often think of it."

At the playground across the street from her home, Kai Leigh grinned at the thought of meeting Mickey Mouse.

''I'm going to go on the rides," she squealed before spinning in a circle in her wheelchair. She is also looking forward to meeting the Red Sox, a promise made to her personally by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

''It's all just been unbelievable," David said, suddenly tearing up herself. ''I mean, wow, we have just been in a constant state of awe. Kai is just enjoying herself. But I feel so blessed. I feel like God wanted Kai to spread this message, of forgiveness. I really do."
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:21 AM   #23
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Makes U realize how blessed and ungrateful we are.
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