From Convent to Pentecost

Chapter 30

Second Foster Home

I stayed over a year with Mother and Dad Wright, however I was becoming very anxious to go back to my country and see if my family was alive and well. In order to do this, I had to secure a job with pay. Mr, and Mrs. Wright contacted some friends who offered me a light housekeeping job in addition to taking care of their two small children.

The Gardners were lovely people. They paid me a salary each week and gave me a fruit jar to use as a savings bank. Just think — prior to this I had lived almost four decades and had never received any salary or wage. It was quite a thrill to empty the jar’s contents and count, but it seemed there would never be enough for my fare home.

I stayed with the Gardners approximately nine months, which seemed forever to my anxious heart that yearned to sec my people once again. During all this time I remained under medical care, as well as the surveillance of Doctor Aitken.

One day a letter came from the doctor stating that I was well enough to begin my journey home. The letter also told the Gardners to take me to town and buy what clothes I needed and suitcase; also to change my money into American currency. On Thursday at 1:30 P.M. he said he would come and take me to the train.

The next morning I was up bright and early. Mrs. Gardner took me shopping in Crowel’s Department Store. We hurried over to the dress racks because I was very much in need of a dress to travel in. I was shocked when I saw the length of the dresses, and I thought the short sleeves and low necks were outrageous, (Of course they weren’t immodest, just regular street dresses, but I had been accustomed to wearing a Nun’s habit with a skirt reaching to me ankles, high stiff collar and long sleeves. Only my face and hands were uncovered and even my face was partly covered by the veil).

I simply could not wear a dress like that, I thought. Mrs. Gardner advised me to make my own selection of clothes so that I would be perfectly satisfied.

I picked a typical Mother Hubbard dress. I chose a hat which brought remarks such as. “Where did that hat come from’? Noah’s Ark?” I didn’t buy a pair of ladies’ high-heeled slippers, or even dress oxfords. I bought a pair of high, black-top shoes!

Looking back on that day now, I can understand why people laughed and snickered when I walked down the street, I dressed more like the gay `90’s than the Twentieth Century modern woman. I remember crying because people laughed at me. I remember some turned around and stared at me with cynical grins as I passed by on the street. No, I wasn’t a gypsy, a moron, or an oddity from planet Mars. I was just a Cloistered Nun, a Twentieth Century Slave, who had been isolated form society, hidden in an underground world, from even the light of the sun, for twenty-two years.

I emerged from my spiritual prison a typical heathen, a woman from another world, with a mind and ideas fifty years behind the times.