Thursday, April 10, 2008
Siranee's Last Song
Siranee’s Last Song
The power of song can blissfully persuade us to sleep, dance, and sing along, lifting our hearts, as well as our spirits to inspired levels. This can be found in every nation, no matter the language or culture of that nation.
May 1st. will mark what would have been the 21st birthday of a young lady by the name of Siranee Thongniyhom, whose given Thai nickname was, Nahm. Nahm was gifted with a beautiful voice which was surrounded by a beautiful physical appearance as well. Nahm was also blessed with a strong sense of responsibility, and love for her family. Her family life has been described as strong, with two little brothers, a father, and a mother. Like so many families, hers was having a hard time making ends meet and she left middle school to take a job in an effort to help provide for them. This could not have been an easy decision as education is so very important in Thailand, more so than in the States. A few years later, Nahm’s mother was arrested for possession of illegal drugs and imprisoned with a two and half year sentence. Many would have fallen down at this point but Nahm stood taller.
Opportunity comes to us and if we are lucky and talented enough, we grasp it, and let it carry us to places which once seemed unreachable. Nahm’s opportunity came when she started to audition for a Thai television program Called, “The Star.” A show, not unlike, “American Idol.” Nahm’s voice and her abilities as a singer took her farther than most. She was one of the favorites and one of eight finalist. She had an underlying drive surrounded by sincerity. The thoughts of one day being on stage and being able to support her family and making those who heard her music feel good, must have been at the forefront of her thoughts. With everything seemingly going so well for Nahm, it is inconceivable to me that this beautiful young human being was struggling with yet another contest. Nahm had been diagnosed with Leukemia. The strength that Nahm displayed continuing to compete is of the best example of inner strength and conviction. Striving to make life easier for her siblings than it had been for her. Cancer has no concern for its victims. It can take you no matter how hard you pray, and it cares not to which God you pray. Concern grew for Nahm’s well being and she made the decision to make a stand against the cancer through aggressive treatment. Her last performance on “The Star,” took place at the end of March. She had already announced that she would not be able to continue in the competition but producers of the show allowed her to perform anyway out of respect for what she had already accomplished. The performance full of emotion, was well received and the song, “Mai Yom Mhod Whang,” Is all about never giving up your hopes and dreams. Shortly after this performance, Nahm entered a medical facility to begin chemotherapy treatment. On March 31st it was announced, that due to complications from the chemotherapy, Siranee Thongniyhom (Nahm), had unexpectedly passed away. The news stunned and saddened millions of Thai’s who had come to know her and respect her talent and her outstanding courage. She had grasped that opportunity when it was in front of her and it was for the right reasons. My new hero stood just over five feet tall, but what a beautiful and huge shadow she cast. Her name was Nahm.
The video below is all in Thai but it bridges the cultural gap with it’s emotional message. Please listen and enjoy Siranee’s last song.
Randy and Chaniya Cole