Skyscrapers and String

Plain Jane Eyre

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying the long Bank Holiday!

Here in the UK we have the day off today, and so far the weather is lovely. Yesterday it was sunny and gorgeous in the afternoon, although the morning looked like it could have gone either way.

As you’ll know from previous posts, yesterday was a big day for me, I was feeling stressed and panicky at being summoned by my parents, after three years of estrangement.

My friends and relatives had given me so much support and sympathy, it was wonderful to know that I am encouraged to be the best person I can be, whatever the outcome of my decision to meet my parents.

As readers will know, one of my favourite books is Jane Eyre. If you haven’t read it, I urge to to do so, you can download a copy free of charge via iBooks if you have an iPhone or iPad, so you don’t even have to have the bother of going to the shops.

Jane describes my scenario thus:

“I know no medium: I never in my life have known any medium in my dealings with positive, hard characters, antagonistic to my own, between absolute submission and determined revolt. I have always faithfully observed the one, up to the very moment of bursting, sometimes with volcanic vehemence, into the other.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre.

In the story, Jane has escaped her early life and is happily working as a governess for Mr Rochester’s daughter Adele, when she is summoned to visit her ailing Aunt, who was previously her tormentor.

“I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt again as long as I live. I will never come to visit you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty. . . . You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

When I was pondering on what to do about the summons from my difficult parents, I turned to Jane Eyre for inspiration. In the book, when Jane hears her Aunt wants to see her, she goes.

As I got ready to leave here yesterday I felt very panicked. But I said I’d go. So I went.

My feet seemed made of lead as I left my home, journeyed on and turned into their street.

“The same hostile roof rose before me: my prospects were doubtful yet, and I had an aching heart. I still felt as a wanderer on the face of the earth; but I experienced firmer trust in myself and my own powers, and less withering dread of oppression.”― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

My Dad was waiting for me on the corner. He was bent and crooked and in a wheelchair, and he was twitching slightly from his Parkinson’s. My Mum was standing on the doorstep smiling at me. She had grown her hair longer. I saw my face in her face, and the pity I felt for them was overwhelming. My heart melted.

It is a happy thing that time quells the longings of vengeance and hushes the promptings of rage and aversion. I had left this woman in bitterness and hate, and I came back to her now with no other emotion than a sort of ruth for her great sufferings, and strong yearning to forget and forgive all injuries – to be reconciled and clasp hands in amity.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

We went for lunch and chatted. My Mum has Alzheimer’s, so you have to repeat yourself a lot. It was like her condition had washed her personality completely clean of the angry dislike of me I had always had to endure. She was childlike and laughing and quite free of care, and she was, really pleased to see me.

“…there is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


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  1. * itwasjudith says:

    I’m so glad to read that it went better than expected! Well done.
    I wonder if, when growing old, parents turn into our “children” in a way, and we become the sensible adults they turn to with smiles?
    Anyway, enjoy your day off, you deserve a relaxing day after the recent anguishes 🙂


    | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago
    • * jengolightly says:

      Thankyou! Its such a relief!! Xx


      | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago
  2. * Jan B says:

    I am so happy for you. What a relief to have lifted that heavy burden from your back! Now enjoy your holiday to the fullest! 🙂


    | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago
    • * jengolightly says:

      Thankyou! I feel so relieved! I am so lucky to have super friends! Xxx


      | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago
  3. Love this post. Jane Eyre is my favourite book too! The writing is marvellous and I can quote whole passages of it. I’m so pleased that you are reconciled, your heart must be lighter for it. xx


    | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago
    • * jengolightly says:

      So kind! It was the most satisfying post I’ve done to date, from the ease of writing, to my happiness on the subject of it too! Thank you! Xxx


      | Reply Posted 4 years, 10 months ago

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