Tragic memories of a child whose life was tragically cut short in Thai nursery massacre include a red toy truck left against the wall and an unmade bed covered in blankets.
The bright, smiling three-year-old Nannaphat Songserm, well known by his nickname Stamp, was one of 24 children killed on Thursday in a tranquil rural town by a former policeman using a rifle and a knife.
Sujittra Pornikhom and Satthaporn Songserm, as well as the rest of their family, are now left to grieve in a home packed with mementos of their young son.
The man who helped raise Stamp, Banyen Srichanil, stated, “I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t have let him go to school that day, but there was nothing I could do.”
The 57-year-old claimed that “no one knew that something like this could happen.”
Flags are flying at half-mast nationwide due to the tragedy, and King Maha Vajiralongkorn personally visited relatives in the northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province.
But none of that can cut through the sadness of the family grieving, who are only five minutes away from the nursery in a modest three-room house.
Stamp earned his nickname from his mother, who loved to collect the colorful postage stamps from the neighborhood convenience store. Stamp already resembled his father.
One of her best memories is the day he was born, according to the 29-year-old.
“I only wanted to see his face when I was pregnant. I was ecstatic when I first saw his face, she told AFP.
Sujittra, however, was only able to see her kid on special occasions because she and his father had to put in long shifts at a factory eight hours away in Chonburi in order to bring money back home.
She took him to the beach the last time they were together.
She remarked, “He really liked it.
“After when we were back, he would always ring me and tell me he wanted to go back to the beach. ‘When will you take me, mum?’,” she said, her voice dissolving in tears.
“Everything I did in my life was just for one reason — for him.”
The chubby-cheeked youngster grew up there, sharing a bed with his grandma upstairs, having his parents drop by occasionally, and being surrounded by his friends.
There are traces of him everywhere, including the toys he left behind, the scuff marks he and his pals left on the walls, and the unmade bed he shared with his grandmother Banyan above.
“My heart is broken. She sobbed, holding her daughter close as she murmured, “I miss him.
“I hope that he will be born into our family once again if reincarnation is real. She replied, as former king Bhumibol Adulyadej peered down from a wall portrait, “I don’t want him to be born elsewhere.”
The family represents the majority of farmers and manufacturing workers in the area who saw the monarchy, the armed forces, and the police as unassailable cornerstones of their way of life.
But some are starting to doubt that authority in the wake of the nursery catastrophe.
The gunman could not have been stopped by the system, according to Praprai Kaew-wohan, Stamp’s aunt.
On Thursday, Panya Khamrab, a former police officer, began his rampage shortly after noon and ended it all when he shot himself, his wife, and their son at 3:00 pm.
The assailant killed 36 individuals in total before taking his own life.
Following the attack, hundreds of government representatives—among them Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha—flooded into the isolated area, all of whom made financial assistance promises.
Praprai added, “It was not worth what we lost,” adding that because the attacker murdered himself, he would never be tried or brought to justice.
She claimed that his passing “could not be compensation” for their grief.
Father Satthaporn, 31, said, “He would play all day,” the agony in his voice audible as he detailed how his son would play with anybody and “everything.”
When Stamp’s fourth birthday was supposed to be celebrated next month, the family is unsure of their plans.
On the Wednesday evening before to the attack, Satthaporn remarked, “I asked him what he wanted for his birthday this year.”
He claimed that Stamp had made up his mind to host a pork barbecue party for friends and family, and Satthaporn had vowed to make it happen.
He replied, his voice quivering, “I cannot believe that was the last time I spoke to him.”
I was unable to grant his wish.