San Clemente man sculpts Mother’s Day tribute in sand to honor his mom — and all other mothers
DANA POINT — Mother’s Day has always been special for Jay Bellamy.
“To me, there’s only one love that comes close to the love of our Heavenly Father and that is the love of a mother,” he said.
So this weekend is especially meaningful for Bellamy.
Saturday, May 11, his mother, Joan Greenwall, would have turned 90. And Sunday is Mother’s Day.
To honor his mother — and all other mothers — Bellamy, on Saturday, created a 12-foot sand heart adorned with a single rose at Baby Beach in the Dana Point Harbor and held a ceremony, inviting the community to bring a single rose in tribute to their own mothers.
“My mom was my best friend,” Bellamy said Friday, through tears. “I got to take care of her for the last five years of her life. I’m so grateful I got to do it. I rest in the salvation that she turned her life to Jesus at age 83 and he took her home two years later. She was always there for me no matter where I was. Even with tough love she never let me go.”
The Mother’s Day tribute is one of several Bellamy has created in the last two years. In January, the San Clemente man drew a crowd at Baby Beach when he sculpted giant praying hands. The hands, he said then, represented an effort to heal a divided nation.
On Sept. 11, he dug up sand for three hours, creating replicas of the unforgettable images from that tragic day 17 years earlier — the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93.
Bellamy drew attention at Baby Beach at Easter, last year, when he sculpted a crucifix with Jesus, then again on Memorial Day, when he built a battlefield cross on the beach to honor service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The artist has been building sand sculptures for a decade. His first was a dolphin at San Clemente pier, which he created as a tribute to his younger sister, who died near the pier on Dec. 23, 1995, when she was struck by a train.
Each time, he has drawn dozens of onlookers.