Happy summer, Budget Vogue Fashionistas. Here’s hoping you are staying cool, staying fabulous, staying light.

Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue column sig

If you are like me, you spent some of your flannel-laden months sorting, tossing, donating, lightening up your load of stuff.

But today I ask you for help, for your insight, for your opinions and suggestions. What do you do with all of that religious paraphernalia gifted to you by well-meaning, going-to-Mass-every-day, rosary-loving, faithful parents and relatives? Can you really throw out those Mass cards? Rosaries? Prayer books?

My mother, Nancy, passed on in 1996. After my Dad died in 1982, Nancy really could have become a nun. She devoted her life to prayer, to her Catholicism, to her church, to her beliefs. She could say an entire rosary faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100 meters.

And I feel I am the recipient of that faith, I too share in her legacy of love, of faith, of prayer. But I don’t necessarily need 90 sets of rosary beads when one suffices. And some of the prayer books I’ve replaced with ones that serve me better — a little less “Mea culpa” and a lot more “Love one another.”

But, as with any Catholic or daughter of a would-be nun, there is guilt in throwing out those rosaries or St. Joseph statues or Sacred Heart of Jesus portraits.

My mother even had a portrait of Pope St. John Paul II in our living room. I think my brother has that; I’ll have to ask him what has become of it.

I often come across religious donations in thrift shops; I’ve spotted a lot of Marys recently and I generally put them in my “Mary Gang.” Mary is my go-to in any situation and I can never have enough of her calm presence. In fact, a beautiful blue glass Mary adorns my office — I found her at the Salvation Army in Saugus, Mass. I am glad I found her; she helps me write, teach, learn, pray.

So, I think, Budget Voguers, I have just answered my own query. What to do with those religious artifacts? I’ll pass them on, donate them for YOU to find, to love, to utilize in whatever way brings you closer to whatever brings you joy and harmony in this wonderful life. Some of those prayers may bring you peace or solace or joy.

Or just a memory of a mother who could have been a nun, who utilized prayer as often as salt and pepper.

Stay safe, and enjoy this most beautiful summer. I pray you will.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at dromeheet@comcast.net.

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