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This book has taken me three years to write and it has been a healing process throughout. It was ten years of my life, a life I though would last a lifetime but it was not to be. This book is not a criticism of the religious life but merely my experience of it. I have the greatest respect for the life of a nun, but it was not for me. I thank God for my life and looking back now I have no regrets only wonderment at the ways of the Lord. A Short extract from My Other Life My God it's fifty years, I thought to myself, was it really that long? But it was, and as I looked at the young girl in the photograph, with eyes now many years wiser my memory drifted back. She had done what she set out to do some years before, to become a nun. It took three long hard years to reach that special day, the day of my religious profession as a nun. But that was a long time ago. I thank God for my life then and now, for I am who I am now because of my life then and I regret not a moment of it. I was young back then, all of nineteen, when I entered the Sisters of the Poor, and I could not wait to become a nun. Ah the impatience of youth I thought now, as I smiled to myself. My brother had gone away to be a priest some years before but had come out in his last year. There was little said of it, until years later when he and I had a great heart to heart chat about the religious life and its antics. "Are you sure you want to join that convent" I could hear my mother say. "You know Sister Agnes said, the French Religious Orders are the hardest in the world and she should know, she is a nun, and she has no time for the French. Are you really sure you want to go in there, into that Order?" My mother's voice sounded full of concern, but I took no notice back then, I wanted to enter the religious life and that was that. Looking back now I feel it was to get away from home more than anything else, and the constant fighting and bickering between my parents, which more often than not ended in violence. Sister Agnes was one of the nuns who taught us at school, in the only convent for miles back then, and were highly respected in our village. Sanctified beings, they would have been called then, now I am afraid they would be called frustrated old biddies. Of course, what ever Sister Agnes said was always gospel truth in our house. She was a personal friend of my mothers and held in high esteem in our family. She had been a religious for many years, and was the nearest thing to a normal person we knew in those days. She knew my mother when she was a schoolgirl, and was extremely good to our family. Our family was a large one and so with schoolbooks etc sister Agnes was always at hand to help my mother out. It was not easy with six of us in school. I remember one particular nun though, Sister Joseph was her name and she was just deranged, to say the least. We had a school uniform, consisting of a black gym-slip and a royal blue jumper, and although it was not compulsory, most children wore them, all or in part, in my case it was always in part. Most people did not have fancy clothes in those days just the bear necessities.
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