Time

I’m bringing a few thoughts in to this post, so please stick with me! I’ve got a busy weekend ahead: social engagements that I’ve avoided since my breakdown. Tonight I’ve been invited to a friend’s house with my sisters. Lost Soul will be there. I can’t pretend that the usual thoughts and feelings didn’t run through my head, just a little, but I’m adamant that I can’t let myself be dragged back into that situation. He is not the one for me and I’ve got to keep telling myself that. Time has proven that he is not the love of my life or my soul mate. If he was, we would have got together properly when we both realised we were single months ago.

Tomorrow night I have book group and they are coming to my house. I’ve not been for months and my friend asking me to host is no doubt a ploy to get me back involved. ☺ The book was really good this month:

In the story, Sir Isaac Newton had discovered that in 2025 at a certain time and place, the present and the past would cross paths, allowing someone to move into 1914. And so, an ex-soldier is sent to change history: to prevent the catastrophic WWI. As with any good book there are plenty of twists and turns. What I loved about it is that it made me think about time and choices. How one event, one decision, can ultimately create a life-path that is then hard to stray from. Similar ideas can be found here:

‘Sliding Doors’ is a film which shows the two different lives that one woman could had led following the different outcomes of one decision.

A completely different plot but still focused on the idea of life choices is this fantastic book:

This book considers the impact a simple decision or action can have on the lives of others, often without us ever realising.

This morning, despite the multitude of things I need to do to prepare the house for tomorrow, I’ve given myself some time to sit and relax. It’s going to be the last time I get on my own for at least a week.

I’ve really appreciated this alone time since I’ve been ill and I think that it has been important for my recovery. I see it as a treat after completing my household chores and I sit in the window, sipping my coffee and watching the sunlight and breeze dancing on the trees. It’s not the most stunning of views but I love it nonetheless.

Today though, alongside this enjoyment of peace and ‘me-time’, my thoughts have been plagued by the ideas I have shared with you. The power decisions and actions have on our lives and the lives of others. Particularly because this coming week marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of James Bulger and, perhaps not wisely, I have watched the TV documentaries that have been on this week.

For those of you who don’t know this sorry tale, James was a month off his third birthday when he was abducted from a shopping precinct in Liverpool by two ten year old boys and then tortured and murdered.

The boys, only eleven when they went to trial, were given eight years in a juvenile rehabilitation centre.

The story is close to home geographically but also at the time I was only twelve myself. My little sister was the same age as James. I couldn’t then and can’t now understand how anyone could do the despicable and cruel things they did to that poor, beautiful little boy.

But what struck me last night as I watched the documentary, was not just how strong James mother was for coping with the death of her son and the knowledge of what was done to him, but her strength in living with those decisions she made at the time.

She talked about how it was the first time she had taken him out without his buggy. How if she had turned left instead of right when she raced out of the shop to find him, she may have seen him being walked off hand in hand with his murderers. She did absolutely nothing wrong. And yet those decisions must haunt her.

Worse perhaps, was the knowledge that over 20 adults saw James as he was carried and dragged two and half miles by the boys. They were stopped only twice by concerned on-lookers. One woman actually managed to pull him away briefly, her daughter grabbing James’ hand before she had been reassured by the murderers that they were taking him to the Police. She let them go. A choice that no doubt plagues her every single day.

And now as one of these boys, now 36 years of age, lives in anonymity somewhere and protected by police, the other is starting his third jail term for having child pornography. And I wonder, can those in situations of power really still stand by their decision to give these murderers only eight years for what they did?

I absolutely believe in rehabilitation and giving those who genuinely deserve it a second chance. But I also believe that this should follow just punishment for what they did: a premeditated murder. Eight years living in what was described as ‘home comforts’ is not just punishment. Although appropriate for the boys in their childhood I personally believe that at the age of 18 they should have transferred to an adult jail for a period of time to experience the reality of the decisions they made on that day. Decisions that impacted so many more people than that poor little boy that they callously took away from those who loved him.

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