Hubby and I went to see Colin Firth's latest film at the cinema - The Railway Man. It is an amazingly powerful film about a man who was broken in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in World War 2 and is struggling to live his life many years later. He discovers in the early 1980's that his Japanese tormentor is still alive and giving tours of the railway that the prisoners helped to build and he goes to find him. It is a true story and shows the power of forgiveness and strength of human character - go see it if you can.
The other chap was a neighbour of ours - Jack. Jack lived behind us in a Prefab with his wife Elsie and his daughter Hilary. Jack was a broken man. My mum used to tell the story of how the whole street (when they lived in the pit yard) had turned out to welcome him home when he was released - even painting "Welcome Home Jack" on the end of a house. However on his return, he swore at everyone and stormed into his house slamming the door behind him. The street party in his honour fizzled out and everybody thought he was a miserable so and so. No one could have possibly known what to expect from him - I suppose they thought he would be so happy to be home. When Jack lived behind us, I don't think I ever heard him speak. He would sometime appear at the door, and he had a wildman look in his eyes. Most people were afraid of him as he became very unpredictable - his poor wife and daughter had a tough life with him. Jack sadly could not live with his demons and took his life in a most horrific way in his own home in the mid 1970's.
I thought about Jack constantly throughout the "The Railway Man" and shed a tear at the end for him and his family for all their suffering and heartache.
This post is in memory of Jack and Elsie Speight.
Edited - to say that a lot of comments say that you would find it too upsetting, but it is actually very uplifting. It has made me think about the power in "forgiveness" all day.