Sunday, September 25, 2011

The end of an era ~ shadow case for my baby Clare

I started this blog almost 2 years ago, at that time, I mainly want to share my handmade cards with my girlfriend in Germany and my sister way back home, many of you might not know, on one occasion, I found a paper crafting blog while googling for "beautiful apron", it opens up a brand new journey for me, I started taking part in challenges and soon after that, received my very first comment from a "stranger", and many of those strangers slowly turned into friends, although I haven't meet YOU in person, but to me, there is not difference from friends we met in real life, my blog friends are those who shared the same interest, we encourage each other, we inspired each other and we cared for each other.

I do struggled a little when I am writing this post, write, delete, write again, delete again, I was scared and wonder how much should I share in terms of my personal life, but I guess for those who cared, I really wish to share this part of my life with you........ (or you could scroll right down to the picture of my project if you wish)

I moved to New York City with 2 luggages and 2 young daughters 8 years ago, my older, Clare who some might called "Prodigy" was accepted with a full scholarship to study piano at the prestiges Juilliard School, she was 11. She was a little celebrity in the classical piano scene back home in Singapore, a recipient of HSBC youth excellent award, youngest recipient of National Arts Council Gifted Young Musician Bursary, gave her full-length piano recital at 9 and cut an album at 10, being the youngest Singaporean ever admitted to The Juilliard School, Clare was everywhere, on TV, on Radio interview, that makes me a little uncomfortable as I am a very private person and DO NOT enjoy the attention at all.

Long story short, moving to New York City with 2 young girls, starting life all over again was not an easy journey, coming from a comfortable place like Singapore, life in New York is nothing but hardship, we know no one and I've learn to be strong and independent in a hurry (I had to admit that I live a pretty sheltered life back home in Singapore)

I walked the girls to school daily, walked Clare to The Juilliard School for her piano lessons, every walk we took, I told myself, no matter how tough life is, I NEED to be strong for the girls as I am the pillar for them, I cannot fall because they need me to lead on, I never shed a tear when the girls are around, if I need to cry my sadness, I'd join the millions of New Yorkers, cry in public, anyway, who cares... in a city that build with cold concrete..... that was really my first thought standing in front of Lincoln Center, surrounded by high rise, I felt small, I felt the coldness and loneliness.... 

I can never forget, on one of those Saturday (Juilliard conduct their pre-collage program on Saturdays), Clare was invited to a birthday party, therefore, that walk 3 of us took numerous time, from The Juilliard School (65th street) back to our apartment on 57th street, were just little Dolce and I, suddenly I realized........the girls are actually my pillar (and not the other way round), they kept me going, they helped me to be strong, they are all the reasons I am willing to suffered financial hardship and other hardship in life, learning how to live on a budget, learning how to stretch every cent, learning how to take care of little things from fixing my bathroom toilet bowl to "arguing" with a customer service person over bad service they provided and over charged fees after holding on my phone listening to the recorded message for 40 minutes.... and many many more, I can write a book on just that... 

At that point of my life, my children are the reason I live.

You might already know from reading my blog, my baby Clare finally left home early this month, to attend collage at CalArts, her dream school, to pursue music of a different kind, although I am not 100% agree of this direction, but I am 100% supporting her decision.

The past weeks were very hard for me, I felt lost, I cried when I drive the usual route when I took her to work......
We finally got to see her last weekend in San Francisco, and driving her back to CalArts and came home to Vegas without her was another emotional journal for me, I just miss her so much...

A few things to sum up, the compass I live by today, like in Frank Sinatra's New York, New York, 
"if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere"
and "if it doesn't kill, it makes you stronger"
and "everything happens for a reason"
and I would tell everyone - I grew up in New York, which is true, I never know what life is until I was lifted from a comfortable sunny little island and placed it way across the ocean, directly on the other side of the earth, a place called New York

The project I am sharing today is a shadow box I made for Clare to bring to collage

Just the 3 of us.... 


in London, summer 2008


Clare is a big fan of many British band and artists, like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and Roger Waters.... so I am picking up the colors not just because the photo was taken in London


I have the central London map DP also because one of Clare's (actually both my girls) dream is to live in London someday....




the three black birds symbolized the 3 of us, and also our favorite Beatles Song - Black Bird




ok, I gotta go wipe my tears..... thanks for reading....


32 comments:

Tracy said...

What an amazing tribute to your girls Kirsty! I know the shadow box is for Clare, but the story is about the three of you. So much courage to leave all you knew and move to a different culture and huge and scary place like New York. Raising our children can help us discover reserves within ourselves that we didn't even know we had. I applaud you on the life you've created for your children and I'm honored to call you one of my bloggie friends. MWAH!

Juls said...

Hi Kirsty,

What a fabulous post, thank you for sharing your story!....

your project is just gorgeous, and I am sure it will be treasured by your daughter! Hugs Juls

Pat said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!
Your shadow box is beautiful and your daughter is gonna love it. I am happy to be part of your bloggie friends!
Hugs xx

Deb Hickman said...

Gosh I'm filling up reading your post, thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I wish Clare the best of luck with her journey in life and admire you so much for what you did 8 years ago.
What a wonderful shadow box and gorgeous photo of you and your girls. xxxxx

Sylvia said...

Beautiful post, Kirsty and beautiful shadow box. Best of all you have learned what motherhood is all about. You will be OK and so will Clare! Have a wonderful Sunday evening.

BEAR's Mom said...

beautiful post Kirsty
and awesome shadow box...
Clare will be ok...she
has her mother's survival
techniques...you must be
soooooo proud of your girls.
you should be :D
BIGGEST BEAR HUGS
~victoria~

Helen Tilbury said...

Aaaw Kirsty what a touching story! What a beautiful tribute you made to your daughter Clare - I KNOW she will love it - and I know exactly what you mean - I left Zimbabwe 6 years ago - it used to be great there but civil war left it in tatters & it got worse & worse & by the time we left we had been living through hell for years - we came here knowing no-one & it is like NY - full of hard & rude people, lots of concrete & "nobody cares" - I have become one tough cookie myself from having to fight my way through my days with this lot!!

Lynnda Hosni said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!!!{smile}
Your shadow box is beautiful and your daughter is gonna love it am pretty sure!!! I am happy to be part of your bloggie friends..too... glad I met you... hugs..xoxo

Irineia Kirach said...

Hi Kirsty
Thanks for visiting. beautiful LO.
kisses

Tenia Nelson said...

Awesome!! tfs!!

yyam said...

A story of great strength and sacrifice. Kudos to you for being such an awesome mother. :)

Tracey ~ GardenOfGrace said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing story. It can be so hard to see our children move on especially if we have any reservations about the direction they are taking. What a special shadow box so full of personal memories ~ just gorgeous!! ~ Blessings

http://gracescraps.blogspot.com/

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Oh Kirsty... I am soooooooo sorry you are in pain right now...I am crying right now for you... {{{hugs}}} my friend... I loveeeeeee the lo you made of you and your girls... i loveeeee the layers and that photo!! GORGEOUS!! love ya girl...and we will always be here for you! :):):):):):):):):):):)

TesaB said...

Awwww, you!!! Sending a big HUG and a thank you for sharing your story. I can feel your pain and love. And I can see how you channeled your love through your creativity in that beautiful shadowbox filled with meaning. Your girls are happy to have a mother like you. And I'm happy to have found you.

Linda R. said...

That is so sweet.. I was tearing up the whole time I was reading. You are such a special lady and I am so glad I meet you. And I really do think its OK to cry when our children leave us to start there own life. And I am sure you will be making many trips to California. Your tribute frame is beautiful. And that photo is amazing. I love it!!

Hugs, Linda

Pauline said...

Well Kirsty, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to uproot yourself and your family from your sunny little island. But you were doing what any parent would do for a hugely talented and gifted child, and it's a pleasure to pop by your blog and see your wonderful creations. Imlove your shadow box, and I'm sure your daughter will too, because although she has flown the nest, she is going to miss you too. Xxx

Elborgi said...

Thanks for sharing with us this great work!
Elma

Ros said...

Oh my friend ... I could empathize with so much of your story ... and you know the first time my son to see the world ... my heart ached so much ... there is something so special when you are the only parent for so long ... unbreakable bonds will always be there ... I have never been to NY ... but when you are alone and struggling ... every city is cold ... But you made it!! and you have 2 beautiful girls ... a husband and a career in creating ... and so many friends ... I am proud to be your friend
Your shadow box is lovely ... and each little part is your life with your girls ... nothing could be more beautiful!

Lea said...

Wow Kirsty, you're an amazing woman and a great mother. Thanks for sharing this! The Shadow box is gorgeous, and such a meaningful keepsake you made for your Clare!!!

Audrey Pettit said...

I need to wipe away some tears, too, Kirsty! This is such a beautiful post, and moved me very much. I can relate in so many ways, as I am a single mom raising two kids, and have felt all these emotions and had all these same struggles. Thanks so much for sharing. And I just adore your shadowbox. Adore it.

Cheryl Nelson said...

You definitely have me misting up here Kirsty. You are STRONG and AMAZING and I admire you so much. You are such an example to your girls. There is nothing like the heartache of sending your children off to college. BIG HUGS! This beautiful shadow box is so heartwarming and lovely and it will be a treasured keepsake for your Clare. MORE HUGS.

Angi @ CokiePop said...

What a beautiful post Kirsty. I can feel your pain. As a mom of two girls it has felt like me against the world on most days. My oldest left Texas and went thousands of miles away to college in California 2 years ago. I cried almost daily when she first left. It has gotten easier and we visit her often. You raised her to be a wonderful young woman. You are a strong mother and I applaud you for raising two wonderful daughters. Hugs to you my friend. :)

Charlene said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story Kirsty. It is a amazing tribute to your girls and brought teard to my eyes :-) Yu are strong to be able to move to New York...I don;'t know if I could do that. It took lots of courage and strengh!!!!! Amazing box !! Im sure Clare will treasure this forever!!! Big hugs!

Bente Fagerberg said...

Thanks for sharing your story of you and your girls. You are a strong woman and we all have to be strong for our children.My eldest is off to the United Kingdom on Thursday to attend business school there and she has been kind of my pillar of strength too, and I am not looking forward to that day....But we have to help them make choises and support the choises they make , and allow them to grow up. Wishing you and your girls the best of luck!, Hugs!

Janetcraft said...

HI Kirsty, thanks for sharing your story. I feel touched and know how it feels as a mother. I can feel the strong attached of you and your children. Sometimes, we have to let them go and be independent as they grow older. Let them be independent and once they are, they will come back to take care of you later. It is just a matter of distance away, but they truly still love you.
Understand that your care of them, has made this layout truly a beautiful one. I love every single detail even the little ones, are so relevant and cute to this layout.
Be strong and you shld be proud of your children that they are at this stage now.

Stella said...

I've been thinking what to write. A wonderful post; straight from your heart to ours. I admire your strength and courage. Making the decision to go to New York...To offer the opportunity for Clare to develop her talents. I've never been to New York but I can imagine a bit what it must have been to be out there on your own with two little daughters. And you made it! And look where you are now....
This post is awonderful tribute to your daughter but I also want to let you know that it shows us abit more about you. You're an amazing woman and mother!! I love the shadow box; it's gorgeous. And so are the photos!
XXX

Karen Noonan said...

Kirsty, my heart sank when I started to read your blog as I thought you were going to say that this was your last blog, as I have only just "found" you. I then read on and was so moved by your openess and honesty, what a story. You should be so proud of your beautiful daughters and their achievements, but also of yourself as you were the one who made the sacrifices for them to attain their dreams.Thank you for sharing a part of your personal life with us(~)

sandi said...

What a beautiful box you've created for your lovely dd! You are a wonderful mother...I think that maybe we are all pillars for one another. Your strength and all you've given will shine through your girls...it's all so worth our hardships in the end!

Ira said...

Your daughters have EVERY reason to be so extremely proud of you, their mother! You have shared a truly beautiful and very personal story with us and I'd like to thank you for your trust in us. It is true that in blog land we meet some of the finest friends, even though we've never met in "real life", but that doesn't mean that these friendships aren't real, because they are. The box you've created for Clare is truly a very precious keepsake, this will remind her of all that you've done for her and how much you mean to her. Even though she no longer lives under the same roof anymore, I'm sure that she will thank you for becoming the young woman she is today, thanks to your efforts. After all, it has been YOU Kirsty that has provided your girls with all the tools they need for this life. Hugs, Ira

Davi said...

Kirsty you are an amazing Woman! Im sure your girls are very proud of you and as they grow older they will recognize the sacrifice and strength you have given to them. The keepsake box for Clare is very special and Im sure a treasure for her! Your talent is amazing and a great encouragement to the rest of us! Its so hard to send our babies off into the world its not only a new chapter for them but for us also. Its a rather difficult time but time will ease make it a little better.

Sue Lelli said...

Kirsty, your daughter will be the envy of all her friends in college. This is so special! I LOVE all of the personal details and the three blackbirds. FAB FAB shadow box!

Иришка said...

Очень оригинальная страничка!!!! Написала бы много чего но боюсь переводчик не справится!!!)))))