Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To the Clay Rosary Girl

I'm going through my day and doing what needs to be done; acting as I normally do (that would be alternating between cheerful and crabby) but in the back of my head is the constant reminder that Sarah Hawkins died. She is also knows as "the clay rosary girl".

I didn't know her personally; however, I thought about her a lot. You know why? Because I thought of her as my competition--competition that I knew I could never beat.

She made the most beautiful clay rosaries. She made them all through the cane technique with polymer clay. Oh people. If you only knew how much skill and time this takes you would be amazed. It takes lots of clay, a specific design and then lots and lots of rolling and "reducing". And in the end of all that, many times the cane is totally ruined. And then after that, you are looking at your smushed picture that looks nothing like you had in mind and not only are frustrated and disappointed, but now you are out of clay. Then you get over it and try again. It is why I make simple beads and roses. It's all I know how to do. It is why I was jealous of Sarah's talent, though it's not easy for me to admit this. It's also why I started making my own clay rosaries, though heaven knows I tried so hard to imitate (but not copy) Sarah's designs and could not learn the technique. I emailed her a few times: "How do you do that???" She replied telling me that the cane technique was on YouTube. Not really the answer I was hoping for but I understood that her work was her own. She was very kind in her emails.

Her website was linked to her blog, so I began to follow her there too. I learned that she had a great devotion to the rosary and would go to sleep praying it as she held her own rosary. I learned that she had 4 other children that she home-schooled. I learned that she was very creative in other ways besides just clay. I learned that she was pregnant with her 5th child when she died.

I've been reading through Sarah's posts on her blog as I haven't read it for a while. I was struck by this paragraph that she wrote about the symbolism of her anchor bead:

Credit: Clay Rosary Girl

"I love the symbol of the anchor for hope. It is very powerful. Hope is the virtue of having confidence in God's mercy that we will be in heaven with Him someday. When we have that hope, nothing in life can move us. We are anchored in God."

Beautiful last words for her followers, as well as the beautiful reminder of the symbolism of hope.

Sarah died on Sunday July 27th after taking her children for a walk. During the walk, she began to get attacked by a swarm of hornets. She somehow got herself and her children home where she collapsed her and husband did CPR. As a result of the stings, she suffered a brain aneurism; she was put on life support. Eventually the 21 week old baby (Cecelia) that she was carrying died; she was baptized as soon as they delivered her. Later, Sarah was put on life support and shortly after, taken off as there was no hope.

I was up until 1 in the morning sick to my stomach over this. Why does God allow something so horrific to happen to someone who loved Him so much? For someone who honored him with her work and brought people to Him through her rosaries?  As someone on Facebook stated: sometimes we have to trust God that He can bring good out of the bad and accept that we have trouble with "the big picture".

Sarah was a beautiful person inside and out. I will truly miss her work, miss her legacy and just the person who she was. I will miss thinking of her as my competition but knowing I would never win. Please keep her soul in prayer as well as her family as they go through this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Clay Rosary Girl, and pray for us left behind.


  1. I love your honesty and I love your writing.
    Unbelievable this tragedy is. I mean I believe it, but it's a lot to take in.

  2. Your honesty is beautiful. I hope you realize that your rosaries are just as beautiful and unique as hers, they are just different. We all have gifts and talents, and your rosaries are just as special.