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Valley mom honored by 'beautiful' re-release of Taylor Swift song about her son Ronan

Posted at 5:35 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 13:04:25-05

Taylor Swift fans were treated this week to the re-release of her album “Red,” which includes a new version of a song that’s very personal to one Valley family.

The song “Ronan” was written about Ronan Thompson, who lost his life to neuroblastoma at just four years old.

His mom, Maya Thompson, said she was surprised that Swift wanted to re-release the song, but the surprises didn’t end there.

“About a month later she reached out and said she wanted to make a lyric video to go along with Ronan, but I had to keep it a secret so that was a tough one,” she said.

In what Thompson describes as typical Taylor style, she insisted on getting Thompson’s approval on the project and had Thompson choose the pictures that would be used in the video.

“That’s who she is. She wouldn’t want to do anything she didn’t have my permission to do,” Thompson said.

It’s been ten years since Ronan died from neuroblastoma and nine years since the song’s original release.

Thompson said a lot has changed in that time, both for her and for Swift.

“She sang it differently. This version I feel like is so much stronger but you can also really hear still the pain that came with singing it... You can tell it’s very emotional for her to sing... but I think the song... she made it as beautiful as it could possibly be,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she only listened to the first version once, and had a hard time listening to it since. This newer version, though, feels different.

“This time around I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had distance…I still can’t get through it without crying, but it brings me a lot of peace listening to it,” Thompson said.

The last ten years have also created a friendship between her family and Swift, reassuring Thompson that trusting Swift with Ronan’s story was the right choice.

“I could not think of anyone more perfect than her. The thought that she has put behind it, just the way that she has taken care of our family from the beginning whether its reaching out here and there or inviting us to every concert or spending time with us before the shows or after the shows. It has been a constant stream of us tenderly looking after us and not forgetting us. This wasn’t just a one time thing that she did because she knew it would be great publicity,” Thompson said.

"It’s just been a constant flow of love from her since 2011.”