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cherish a. (@cherish2010@rocketmail.com)
Date:Sat 18 Apr 2015 08:19:06 PM EDT
Subject:sinan soc
 Hi, I know I didn't know Sinan personally but I just want to say how deeply her story affected me. She seems like such a remarkable and strong person and she reminds me SO much of my grandma. She too is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge but I can tell it's hard for her to talk about her past. Sinan is just beautiful inside and out you are lucky to have known her. Thank you for sharing her story

Victoria Bodkin (vbodkin@nyc.rr.com)
Date:Sat 09 Mar 2013 12:47:42 AM EST
Subject:Thoughts in 2013
 Walter, it is so moving to read these pages and so painful it just freezes me up with the pain. I'm so sorry she is gone. I know how much you loved her, but no, I can never really know how you feel, but I feel for you truly. Victoria 2012.

victoria bodkin (vbodkin@nyc.rr.com)
Date:Sun 27 Jan 2013 07:35:52 PM EST
Subject:first meeting
 Whenever I think of Sinan I remember when she and my brother Walter invited us to dinner at the White Horse Tavern in NYC. I've never seen such bubbling alive people in my life! She was calm but warm and Walter was so joyous and open with smiles. It was so good to see such natural happiness and love! Love Victoria

Tomasita G (tomasita@swop.net)
Date:Thu 12 May 2011 01:56:12 PM EDT
Subject:Rest In Peace
 I may have never met Sinan in person, but I feel her greatness around me as I read the story of her life. Very impacting. Thank you for sharing this very touching personal history. May she rest in peace.

Chan Bun Han (bunhan@aol.com)
Date:Mon 28 Mar 2011 12:13:55 PM EDT
Subject:Goodbye to a friend
  Untitled Document

I met Sinan in the early 80's through our support work for the people of Cambodia after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Sinan and I shared a couple of life’s experiences as Cambodians.

With the support of her friends, Sinan was the first person "allowed to leave" Cambodia by the new regime. And vice versa, with the support of many friends in the anti war movement, I was the first person from the Cambodian community in the States "allowed to visit" the country.

We both lost most of immediate family members.

Our work to help the Cambodian refugee friends to adjust themselves to their new home in the US brought us together as good friend.

As much as she needs to adjust her life to a new environment, Sinan found time to help others less fortunate friends to cope with the same transition. Sinan and her companion Walter whom I known before I met her, always helpful and supportive of my work for the Cambodian cause. I stayed with them many times on my trip to DC. And she did visit us in New York with Cambodians friends also.

For she has always been good friend to me and my wife Cindy. She always smiles. She's warm, friendly and we shared joyful moments, but we never discuss our personal past or problems.

After the UN sponsored election in Cambodia in the late 90's and a reconciliation government set in Phnom Penh and later on our move to Ohio, we lost contact with each other.

We last spoke to Sinan when she was very ill in the hospital. She spoke calmly with the same humors and never complaint of any pains she's gone through. We were very sad to learn of her passing at a very young age while we were in Cambodia.

The lost of someone we know-love is sadness in our life. We want to share this thought with other friends of Sinan. As we say good bye to a friend that had lived a dignified life,

We want to thank Walter for help keeping Sinan memory alive.

Eternal peace to our friend,

Cindy & Chan Bun Han


Sally Benson and Steve Nichols (salbenson.usa@gmail.com)
Date:Thu 24 Mar 2011 03:21:12 PM EDT
Subject:Remembering Sinan
 It is a great and treasured gift to have known Sinan and to share in her memorial gathering - stories and the foods she loved in view of bare branches and frosted fields, a soulful recess in the season of peace and goodwill. Sinan gave of herself graciously and quietly as our memories and these messages attest. Here, now, Sinan and Walter continue to bring old and new friends together, recalling times of struggle and joy and giving us lessons and courage to carry on. The still earth of December is now alive with spring flowers. Seeing these pictures of Sinan among the cherry blossoms and noting her birth anniversary as the time of her native new year makes my heart sing a bit. We remember her with love. Sally

Jeff and Colleen Genzer (thegenzers@aol.com)
Date:Thu 24 Mar 2011 07:56:12 AM EDT
  Untitled Document

We have taken quite a long time to compose our appropriate and heartfelt thoughts about Sinan. She was truly part of our family -- from the beginning. Our children saw her as an aunt and almost like an older sister. We could always count on the visits and she seemed to always have time to listen (even though she was the busiest person we knew). She was always dropping off food and then heading off to another friend's house to help in some way. She was the only babysitter our daughters ever had and they are now in their 20s. You could talk to Sinan about almost everything, except some of her difficult memories of Cambodia.

When we went to the memorial get-together and looked at those beautiful picture albums we realized how closely intertwined our lives were with Sinan. We always knew she was part of our family and we were pleased that we were a big part of her family.

She left us at a far too young age. She will be missed forever. The Genzers.


Chanthou Boua (bouachanthou@gmail.com)
Date:Mon 21 Mar 2011 09:07:55 PM EDT
Subject:Sinan Soc
  Untitled Document

Because of our long history, Sinan and Walter have been in my thought since we met in the early 1990's in the US. Therefore I was saddened to hear about her illness and hospitalization from Walter, Cindy and Han. I am glad I was able to contact her, to talk to her at length by phone several times before she died. Incidentally, these phone conversations had led to a discovery that Sinan had lived in the 1950's in the same village (Thlouk Chrau, Kompong Cham) that I was born and lived in as a girl. More importantly, I was able to put Sinan in touch with an old friend, Sithan Hem, who is a relative of mine and is now living in Long Beach, California. Like Sinan's mother, Sithan's mother was from the same village and she used to visit relatives that lived there, frequently in those years. It was through this contact that Sinan was able to find an answer to her tormenting question of why her father hated her.

Through a phone conversation, Sithan told Sinan about the Chinese Fortune Teller who told Sinan's father, before she was born, that her birth would ruin his career. With that curse, Sinan became an unwanted baby. Living in Phnom Penh at the time, Sinan's resourceful mother quietly slipped her away to live in a village with her grandparents in Thlouk Chrau, Kompong Cham. The people in the village knew of her unfortunate circumstances and pitied her, but they said little about this, especially not to her. Or if some did, Sinan was too young to understand. Sinan died four days after that phone conversation in which she learned the answer to her life long tormenting question.

When Walter told me that Sinan was feeling free and relief after that phone conversation, I could not help but feel good that I had played a part in helping resolve one part of a story. We all know that out of the Cambodian recent tragedy, there are many human stories with loose ends that will not be resolved.

Sinan, we will miss you dearly!!

Chanthou Boua


Greg King (gking900@msn.com)
Date:Mon 14 Feb 2011 09:45:48 PM EST
Subject:Understanding Sinan's Indomitable Spirit
  Untitled Document

Walter, I didn't know Sinan, and I know you only through your very good, very principled and detailed environmental work as evidenced on the listserv. But I am really impressed by Sinan's indomitable spirit, and your kind love and care for her. I am very sorry you and the world lost such a beautiful soul. Her spirit shines through these moving reminiscences.

My wife is Thai. She grew up on a small farm five hours' drive north of Bangkok. She was very fortunate not to have gone through the horrible experiences Sinan went through. But she, like Sinan, is a self-made woman, a very strong person. So I can really relate to the stories of what kind of person your love was. I can understand how there would be a hole in your life now without her. There certainly would be a hole in mine were I to lose Yupin. That name, by which all her friends and I know my partner, but not her original family, is a name she invented for herself.

May Sinan's spirit be at rest. If she is reborn, may her new life be a happy one.I hope you can find solace, Walter, and treasure all of your wonderful memories of Sinan.


Chou Saorun (saorun@everyday.com.kh)
Date:Mon 14 Feb 2011 03:04:08 PM EST
Subject:Farewell to Sinan Soc - 1-31-2011
 [Saorun asked that this 2/11/11 note to Jim Laurie who carried Sinan’s ashes back to Cambodia be posted in the Guest Book.]

“Dear Jim,

As you asked me, I'll tell you more about my feelings since you came here with the remains of my dear friend Sinan.
I wish you would share these few words with Walter: even if he was not here, we all could feel he was present, through Sinan and you.

My English is quite poor, so could you correct any wrong expression, grammar, sentence structure etc. for me?
And if you feel like changing or transforming my words, in order to make them more precise, elegant... please don't hesitate! [Only a few were corrected. WT]

At the ceremony on January 31, in Thlock Chrou village seeing the ashes reminded me of Sinân so strongly: I still keep her image from 1975, when we had to separate without knowing if our paths would ever cross again.

Since 1980 I always keep in my handbag the 2 photos she sent me from USA ( the photos she took on leaving Cambodia for Singapore). She never gave me her address, her phone number neither... but I could get them by our helpful friend San Arun in November 2010.

I wanted to tell her many things, but I feel she suffered too much. When we talked to each other on the phone for the last time, she cried so much : I was happy to tell her I would go to united states in may 2011, so that we could meet... and she said it would be too late...

She asked me some news about my son Eric, she still remembered him when he was 2 years old in 1975, she loved him a lot and didn't forget his wide-opened eyes as she held him when bombs were falling in our neighborhood. Eric was pleased to be part of the ceremony to say good bye in Kompong Cham province.

Jim, when you and others came here with her ashes, I could feel her soul came back to Cambodia, as you know ashes are like the "soul".

The ceremony we organized for her was a way for her soul to be blessed, by making her present among us, with her friends and family of her native country. We Khmer people think "earth" is very important. The other meaning of the Buddhist ceremony is that her soul can live peacefully a new life in a new world ("phob thmey"), so that she leaves us with no regret, no fear, no pain... or any "blocked feelings." This ritual is like a "rituel de passage" which helps her soul feel free.

We did the minimum for her, since we didn't have much time, but we did the best we could. In this small village, we invited two monks ("tveu bon") for the prayers and we respected our traditional customs. Usually, in big families, we invite around ten monks and at least one hundred people attend the ceremony (this is what happened when my sister died a few years ago : her ashes came back here and we did almost the same ceremony). The ceremony's name is called "pram pi thgnay", which means it is held "seven days" after death. There's another ceremony after 100 days ("mouyroy thgnay") and another one after 1 year ("Khuob mouy chnam") or every three years.

One thing we do is to invite the monks and provide food so the people present eat well. That's why we bought some fruits and enough food for around 30 people. Old women come to help (cooking and making ornaments with bananatree leaves), and another important thing we do is to give to everybody some money (we call it "tveu tien"). We always put together "tveu bonn" (for the monks) and "tveu tien" (for everybody) in this kind of ceremony. We bought also what we call "pralong" which are plates, pots, all necessary ustensils in her "new home" : it's like she moves into a new world and needs everything to settle.

Jim, you also know very well about our "superstitions", you experienced their effects by carrying the ashes : that's why it was not so easy to hire a boat for the ashes. the way of transportation used to carry the ashes of someone is kind of "cursed", so that people refuse easily to facilitate transportation, unless you pay more (double usually). So you should know Jim, your 500 dollars were spent with wisdom.

Everything went well during this ceremony, I was very moved as you know and satisfied at the same time that we did well for Sinân's soul. You know that your money helped a lot the small community of Sinân's village, effectively and more than that: spiritually.

I know Sinân was looking at us from where she is, and still looks at us. She even takes care of us, I would say, and feels grateful for what we all did.

Thank you Jim for all you did.
It was wonderful to see you again and to get to know you.

I'll send you some photos later!

Take care

on vous embrasse tous ici



Merle Ratner (merle_ratner@hotmail.com)
Date:Sat 22 Jan 2011 01:31:11 AM EST
Subject:About Sinan
  Untitled Document

Sinan was one of those rare and beautiful people who cared deeply about others and lived a principled, courageous life!

She was a strong and sweet person whose presence in the world and my life I miss very much.

Thank you Walter for sharing her stories and lessons with us.


Margaret (@Margaret.DeConcini@crestlinehotels.com)
Date:Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:35:54 AM EST
Subject:your love was gift of a lifetime.

Walter I am so sorry for your loss you are a wonderful person I am so glad you found one another
as an abuse survivor.

I admire her courage and can relate to her story so much at the shame and not wanting to tell.

PTS i pray for peace and the love of friends to keep you up during this most sad time I wish I could have known her she is lovely and I thank you for sharing with us.


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