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Diane and Sammy Ariyadej



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Diane and Sammy Ariyadej

Diane Ariyadej Lebow had temporarily moved to Thailand while her American-educated Thai husband, Lek, finished his military obligation to the Thai government.  While in Thailand, she became pregnant with their son, Sam.  She returned to her family in the Bronx for the last trimester of her pregnancy so that she could deliver their child with midwives.  Eight months later, she and her son, Sammy, were on their way back to Thailand for the remainder of Lek's service, before returning as a family to the the United States.

Diane was a dedicated mother.  She had her Masters in Art Therapy from New York University.  She was a silversmith, painter and sculptor.  She met her husband at Syracuse University where he received his Masters in Civil Engineering.  They were looking forward to family life in the U.S.

Days before Diane and Sam left for Thailand, Diane spoke of a "telling" dream she had.  She was in a cylindrically shaped cave.  It was dark, but she could feel the ceiling with her hands.  She was startled by armed white cloaked warriors wearing hoods who entered the cave and were yelling at her.  She was comforted by a glowing light.  It took the form of a Buddha figure.  He told her everything was going to be alright.  At the entrance to the cave stood her husband, Lek.  He was calling to her to find her way back to him.  She was anxious as the dream wouldn't allow her to reach back to her husband.

She was known as a "keeper of keys" to all of us who were lucky enough to be part of her life.  Her gentle strong and positive demeanor reflected in all that she did.

Sammy Ariyadej was 8 months of age when the plane was taken down.  He was encompassed with love while visiting with his grandparents, Lee and Harold, his Uncle Alan and his extended family those first 8 months of his life.  He was returning with his Mom to meet and visit with his dad's family in Northern Thailand and to his mom and dad's apartment in Bangkok.

(Courtesy of Paulette Lebow, sister-in-law of Diane and aunt to Sammy Ariyadej.)

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