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8:02pm 04-06-2020
Deborah
Thank you everyone so much for everything today, remembering our Billy and Ashley. Mostly not only today for all the days in between mounting over the years seeming like yesterdays.

I finally got some sleep after replaying the whole day yesterday. Nothing new, somehow more vivid on the 4th of April, the last day becoming more beautiful and wonderful, wanting to savor it forever.

The 5th of April begins to replay over and over before midnight. Throwing the covers over my head not wanting to see the time, dreading 4:00 am. then 8:00 am. Somehow thinking if those two times are not visible they do not exist now, they did not exist then.
Wishing if this time is not seen then it is not possible an unforeseen, unimaginable random act affecting the course of two lives, flowing into so many other lives, could not have happened. Possible if one mere minute was turned back on the clock that night, one minute only, two lives would have seen seventeen years of living.

8:00 am came and went this morning, wondering was it safe to go downstairs without the triggers firing off reminding me of that explosive day. Who was I kidding? I have those triggers every single day so why was today any different because it was April 5th? A date does however make it more real, more vivid, more raw and jagged. The two loves of your lives are implicated in this nightmare of what is now your life.

Finally, I forced myself to open my shades looking at the baron rose bush that does display one or two roses on a special day. Never expecting to see one today. I said “Billy and Ashley please show me a sign today I really do need one.” I know some do believe and some might not. This is what helps us immensely to sustain our faith, to encourage us to know we will be together again giving us strength to carry-on.

It is our faith that supports us. Being at Immaculate Conception Seminary during the accident was a true blessing. That is where I met Monsignor Celi from the Vatican. He came soon after this all happened for a week to visit Seton Hall University. I saw him outside on the steps he did not speak a word of English. I introduced myself and in my somewhat broken Italian (which I do not speak) I invited him to the third floor because my office was being renovated. I invited him to join me for coffee when he got a moment. I was sharing a big office with my Dean/Rector, Associate Rector and my friend Margaret. Within five minutes Monsignor Celi came up. I did not think he understood I even invited him nor to which floor.

We sat and talked for a half hour. Monsignor strictly Italian and me in English. Margaret shook her head the entire time. During that week Monsignor came to our house with Seminarians who did speak Italian, we took him to dinner to the Highlawn (I drove him in a convertible) again not understanding each other, but we did.

We stayed in touch for 17 years. Visiting each other during the 17 years. Writing in Italian and English, transcribing each other’s correspondence. Invited to his 50th ordination celebration, his 80th birthday. He called me during Sandy (speaking in Italian). It has been a beautiful relationship. Language never stopping us, never having a barrier.

Bill and I visited Monsignor in October, we cried when we saw each other, we cried when we left each other.
I said to Bill when we left his home, and drove away in the taxi “I feel like I am never going to see him again, he is going to be 84 in January.”

I have not been able to reach him since November. Numerous attempts! Over and over again but to no avail. Then the virus got so awful in January in Italy, I kept following it closely on Euro News. I had one of the priests who speaks Italian try to reach him by phone. Eighty Four, Italy, no response I was convinced it was not good news.

I went downstairs after pulling my shades up, asking for Billy and Ashley to send me a sign. I had a message on my Linkden from Monsignor Celli, which came at 2:45 this morning on April 5th. He said he was trying to find my email, did not say where he was, why he lost my email, how he found me through this source. He asked if we were ok with the virus.

This was a sign for sure a faithful sign. On this day of all days after five months of trying to reach Monsignor he responds on the anniversary. I told Father Nuno who also visited Monsignor in Rome. Father Nuno had just finished mass on live stream from his parish with intentions for Billy and Ashley.

It is such a beautiful, meaningful sign making my heart
convinced that we are blessed by so many. I was put in Immaculate Conception for a reason and this certainly reinforces my faith, my belief and is helping me to cope a bit more on these very difficult days.
7:58pm 04-06-2020
Deborah
My Dear Billy and Ashley on your Anniversary today April 5, 2020, so extremely hard I sit here today, once again without you. The pain grows deeper, the days are longer, you are both missed beyond the meaning.

We love you Always and Forever Mom and Dad

127You, Angela Cusano Filippone, Wendy Evelyn Purcell DeRose and 124 others
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Love
11:59am 09-16-2018
Deborah Streiter
William Joseph Streiter

September 3rd

Well...here I go again, having only a mere seven days in between Billy, it is truly a bittersweet day.
Bittersweet when all the memories come flooding back with constant happiness, a wonderful life indeed it was.

Unusual and unbelievably lovely, you both managed to be born only 8 days apart despite the odds.
You were one month early and Ashley was two weeks late according to your due dates, even birthdays you two were destined to be celebrating together. Born almost on the same date, need I say more about your departure date? A Plan, Destiny, I said from that first day, an accident I say with certainty, absolutely not.

Group birthday parties throughout the twenty years as brother and sister, a truly wonderful, joyful, celebratory, happy, festive occasion each and every year!

Now I approach this time of year with so much turmoil due to the present situation we are forced to face each year. A parent's joy is the happiness surrounding the birth of all their children each year, marking another milestone. I however, approach these two days no longer counting the years, with so much trepidation.

My memory for you today is the music you loved to listen to, the one particular song you blasted by the Beatles quite often, "When I'm 64". Asking me will you still love me when I'm 64, while hugging me singing the words. I would think I most certainly will, I only hope I get as many possible yeas as I can, close to seeing you approaching 64 years. Now that song plays through my head, swirling almost every day, no not almost every day, every single day, as I smile. What else do I have to do, but think of things pertaining to the two of you? I welcome my constant replays as a treasure box of love.

I never could have imagined or visualized what life was going to be as you sang “Will you still love me?” thank goodness. You, an energetic young man with so much affection, spunk, zeal for life, playfulness, and happiness, I can go on and on. Those that knew you, know exactly what I am talking about. Those that did not, I only hope they do. You made everyone around laugh, feel good about themselves, know what it was to appreciate the day. I believe from where you are, both, you and Ashley continue to give an appreciation of life with more meaning and definition, more than you could have displayed here.

When it is your heavenly 64th my dear, sweet Billy, I will still love you of course, to the moon and beyond, even most importantly, I no longer wonder where I will be, I know in my heart of hearts I will be celebrating with you and Ashley, Dad of course will be there, in the fashion we have become accustomed to in the past, the way we were meant to be, as a family.

Each time I think of you I think of you as the fixer of happiness. No matter what the occurrence was you wanted to make it right. If Ashley was upset, you would throw your arms around her, come up with a solution then laugh. Your two favorite words were “sweet” and “sorry”, sorry for everything merely to make us feel better, “I am sorry you do not feel well”. Oh how “sweet” you are Billy. You always put a smile on our faces despite the severity of the problem. Always worrying about others from a very young age, putting yourself in the background for as long as I can remember my sweetheart. If my understanding is correct, where you are there is no need for fixing, I do hope that beautiful smile and contagious laughter of yours continues to bring warmth and happiness to everyone your are near.

We will keep our faith strong, continue to muster up our strength although I find it harder as the years go on and look forward towards the way it was, the way it was supposed to be, leading us into an everlasting state of euphoria where there will be no ending, no beginning, no hour glass, no stop watch, just constant reassurance of foreverness.

Billy you will be forever young. On this your extra special day, I am hopeful every day is just as beautiful and special as you two continue to embrace each other in the wondrous land we strive to be. I shall continue to be forever proud of you.

Until then I will keep believing, I will continue to keep my hopes and dreams, I will remember who taught me so many positive lessons in life, I will continue to look up high, up to you always.

We love you Always and Forever,

Mom and Dad

New

William Joseph Streiter

September 3rd

Unusual and unbelievably lovely, you both managed to be born only 8 days apart despite the odds.

You were four weeks early Billy and Ashley was two weeks late, just destined to be only 8 days apart to celebrate birthdays all those years together. A week of celebrations, a happy, joyous time of utmost glee in this house.

I am not going to try not to be sad today, reflecting upon on all the good times that we had, why we had them, why we were given all we had, be it short but oh so absolutely wonderful.

My memory for you dear sweet Billy is the song you would blast and sing in our livingroom by the Beatles, “When I ‘am 64”. Asking me “Will you still love me when I ‘am 64?” I would quietly wish only if I could be around when you are 64. Of course I will love you to the moon, the stars and beyond. Now now longer wondering I know in my heart of hearts, I will be with you when the 64th year does come around.

We will keep our faith, continue to muster up our strength and look forward towards the way it was, the way it was supposed to be, leading us into an everlasting state of euphoria where there will be no ending, no beginning, no hour glass, no stop watch, just constant reassurance of foreverness.

Billy you will be forever young. On this your extra special day, I am hopeful every day is just as beautiful and special as you two continue to embrace each other in the wondrous land we strive to be. I shall continue to be forever proud of you.

Until then I will keep believing, I will continue to keep my hopes and dreams, I will continue to look
up, up to you eternally.

We love you Always and Forever,

Mom and Dad
10:12am 08-30-2018
Deborah Streiter
August 25, 2018

Ashley Meredith Streiter
August 25th

All I have left to give you right now Ashley, a simple remembrance, one of many, on this the day you gave us the greatest joy.
It was a picture perfect evening as dusk was falling. Lights sparkling, glowing, illuminating, becoming more vibrant as each window along with the wondrous ancient structures lit up magnificently. The Grand Canal was becoming spectacular as we approached Venice for the first time, we returned again as a family, however the first is the awe-inspiring eye-opener. Looking back now, it seems like only yesterday.

Sitting in the little vessel that warm August evening made it extra special. An evening ripped out of a storybook, all too much to visualize at a moments' glance, breathtaking, surreal. It was only the four of us along with a charming old Venetian man speaking to you and I, Ashley, in his native tongue. The only words we fully understood were "And puff she was gone, my wife." Sadly this man spoke, sadly we were able to comprehend, feeling his pain. You spoke about this man, his conversation forever, now forever embedded in my mind, dear sweet, sensitive Ashley.

Combine the beauty, the timing (the month of August when you were born), the chance of meeting, the unmistakable conversation, the unparalleled irony at that time. A meeting by chance, I think not. A meeting pre-arranged, I often wonder. A lesson I learned as the years progressed often pondering our encounter - lights shimmering and glowing, suddenly puff off they go, then once again the night will be brightened bringing joy and happiness, I do believe. For to loose your children there must be hope of a new future. Your future and dreams were taken along with ours.

The future was not ours to see, not certainly what was mapped out to be. So yes as the lights are easily flicked off we learn, one evening they will be brightening the skies as this family of four sails along in a little vessel together once again with their love for each other robust, brilliant, never faded, never interrupted, never ending.

Blow out those candles today and make a wish with all your might Ashley. You certainly know what our wish is; I wonder what yours might be with all my heart. Know please, we will continue to keep your light on, as you continue to light up our lives.

We love you always and forever, Mom and Dad

Ashley, a simple remembrance, one of many, on this the day you gave us the greatest joy.
It was a picture perfect evening as dusk was falling. Lights sparkling, glowing, illuminating, becoming more vibrant as each window along with the wondrous ancient structures lit up magnificently. The Grand Canal was becoming spectacular as we approached Venice for the first time, we returned again as a family, however the first is the awe-inspiring eye-opener. Looking back now, it seems like only yesterday.
Sitting in the little vessel that warm August evening made it extra special. An evening ripped out of a storybook, all too much to visualize at a moments' glance, breathtaking, surreal. It was only the four of us along with a charming old Venetian man speaking to you and I, Ashley, in his native tongue. The only words we fully understood were "And puff she was gone, my wife." Sadly this man spoke, sadly we were able to comprehend, feeling his pain. You spoke about this man, his conversation forever, now forever embedded in my mind, dear sweet, sensitive Ashley.
Combine the beauty, the timing (the month of August when you were born), the chance of meeting, the unmistakable conversation, the unparalleled irony at that time. A meeting by chance, I think not. A meeting pre-arranged, I often wonder. A lesson I learned as the years progressed often pondering our encounter - lights shimmering and glowing, suddenly puff off they go, then once again the night will be brightened bringing joy and happiness, I do believe. For to loose your children there must be hope of a new future. Your future and dreams were taken along with ours.
The future was not ours to see, not certainly what was mapped out to be. So yes as the lights are easily flicked off we learn, one evening they will be brightening the skies as this family of four sails along in a little vessel together once again with their love for each other robust, brilliant, never faded, never interrupted, never ending.
Blow out those candles today and make a wish with all your might Ashley. You certainly know what our wish is; I wonder what yours might be with all my heart. Know please, we will continue to keep your light on, as you continue to light up our lives.
We love you always and forever, Mom and Dad
1:56pm 04-10-2017
Deborah Streiter
14th Anniversary - Seems like yesterday

William Joseph Streiter
September 3, 1978 -
April 5, 2003
Ashley Meredith Streiter
August 25, 1982 -
April 5, 2003
We cannot qualify the loss, the love we have is comparable to the depths of the unknown oceans. Love for the both of you is beyond the unknown.
There is nothing on this earth that we enjoyed nor loved more than to be your parents. You both made us very proud and continue to teach and inspire everyday.
From a distance, our love continues to grow.
We love you always and forever.
Mom and Dad
That though the radiance which was once so bright, be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.
William Wordsworth
5:52pm 01-19-2015
Deborah Streiter
Deborah A. Streiter

There Will Be Tomorrow

Ashley only two and a half dressed up with beads around her neck standing in my pink high heals beginning to mimic me at a very young age, adorably and inquisitively asked “Is today today or today tomorrow?” That phase stuck throughout her twenty years and Billy’s remaining years left of his twenty-three and became our motto. Little did we all know that that we would live for today not knowing what tomorrow was about to bring. Tomorrow became increasingly significant as we look back – Billy would sing outside loudly at the age of three Tomorrow from the play Annie and Ashley left the Poem in her dorm room “When Tomorrow Starts Without Me”. All signs I do believe because God had a “Plan”, one that I do not agree with one however, that has impacted so many lives.

Billy and Ashley were well known and ironically both voted by their eighth grade classes as most helpful most well liked. Because of the love that they showed to all, especially to each other it was a contagious atmosphere amongst them and admired by many. That is where the “Plan” began when they were very young and because of the path that was laid and their story continues eleven years after a drunk driver took them and continues to grow and climb like ivy on a monastery wall with class and dignity. Age will not defy this story age will ripen the vine and harbor the values and commitments of life, love, values, strengths, family, morals, traditions, friends, pain and virtues. A ripple widens and froths to pay it back honoring one another out of remorse maybe or maybe out of the value of life.

So much has been lost and so much has been gained by Billy and Ashley living such a short life. So many people are gathering strength from their story, looking for little things in signs that are appearing that once were ignored. Inspirations gathered from strengths that were ignored all brought forth from tragedy, all ignored once before because today was today and tomorrow taken for granted. Now people clasp onto what they have, value and appreciate and yes ignore imperfect deeds and applaud and encourage where justified. Billy and Ashley made a difference when they were here on earth but now make a bigger difference where they are looking down upon us.
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11:15pm 09-02-2014
deborah streiter
Billy's 35th Birthday - September 3, 1979
A Beautiful Life

Billy today is today and not tomorrow, unfortunately. Ashley always asked "Is today today or today tomorrow?" I never quite understood when she started asking at the age of two but maybe she knew. I did not know how old you would be until your best friend just celebrated his.

Your father and I were walking Basley Monday evening in Madison as the town started to come to life again with the college students returning. I asked "Why am I stuck in a rut thinking you and Ashley are still college age and it hurts so." I answered my own question "Because we can't stop pretending you are both coming home in order to survive." Your father didn't get a chance to acknowledge, as a mother was putting her family in the car and said her son's name immediately - Billy. I told your father we got our sign. We look for small things but to us they are huge they are immense. Thank you Billy and Ashley for always showing us.

I realized it's a milestone birthday and for this reason the years are passing so quickly piling the numbers which make it that much harder. Harder trying to visualize your sweet tender beautiful face and huge smile as you should have grown older. Your tenderness, kindness, extreme sense of humor, humbleness, and immense heart will always be your hallmark and truly outstanding and recognizable. I imagine you and your sister continue to help people where you are and certainly looking down upon all of us from afar.

Wondering how and where our family would be at this point is forever occupying my mind. If I had a broad brush I could not paint that beautiful picture depicting the wonderful life we had during the twenty-three years you were here with us.

I miss just watching you study, I miss your phone calls "Mom don't worry about dinner tonight I am cooking", I miss you never allowing me to be angry for a second for you would kiss me then swell your arms around me and give your ultimate bear hug. The bear hug you gave me on April 2nd lingers and will never diminish, I have that hug implemented in my mind and on my heart always.

Please know that you are missed today and every single minute of every single day more than you can ever imagine. I thought it would change, get easier however, it just gets harder pretending.

Stay forever young, vibrant, loving and charming until... We love you always and forever, lovingly Mom and Dad 2525
12:49am 08-25-2014
deborah streiter
Ashley's birthday

Compassionate, kind, vibrant, beautiful inside and out, fun, loving, understanding, giving, moonbeams and sunshine all wrapped up into one tiny little package - our Ashley. We miss you more and more every single minute of every single day. I never thought we would be spending eleven birthdays without my best friend Ash - it just should not be this way. I am grateful for all the wonderful days we spent together and appreciate we realized how blessed we were during those days and enjoyed our family as much as we possibly could.

I can not imagine our lives being any different for it was a wonderful life. A wonderful life worth repeating once again knowing the devastating end because the rewards are so rich, enjoyable, fulfilling, tender, loving, and unexplainable.

I wake up each morning wishing the day before was merely a dream, a very bad dream. Ashley you started asking me at the age of two over and over "Is today today or today tomorrow?" What did you know back then? I now only long for yesterday, realize it is today and look forward so towards tomorrow.

I still can not fathom nor comprehend that we can not celebrate your birthday today and your brother Billy's in eight more days. August 25 and September 3 were the two happiest days of our lives, simply taken from us in one split second.

Thank you for teaching me the meaning of fun and how to laugh always. Thank you for showing me the meaning of kindness, compassion and love. You would have been the ideal teacher you set-out to be.

You and Billy had birthday parties together even your friends were friends. Everything was wonderful and perfect this time of the year. So today I woke up again to reality unfortunately, I only wish and try to imagine that you and Billy are having that party together once again, while your friends here continue to be faithful and always remembering you.

Blow those 32 candles out with lots and lots of love always and forever lovingly your mother and father. 25251002000
12:46am 08-25-2014
deborah streiter
Ashley's birthday

Compassionate, kind, vibrant, beautiful inside and out, fun, loving, understanding, giving, moonbeams and sunshine all wrapped up into one tiny little package - our Ashley. We miss you more and more every single minute of every single day. I never thought we would be spending eleven birthdays without my best friend Ash - it just should not be this way. I am grateful for all the wonderful days we spent together and appreciate we realized how blessed we were during those days and enjoyed our family as much as we possibly could.

I can not imagine our lives being any different for it was a wonderful life. A wonderful life worth repeating once again knowing the devastating end because the rewards are so rich, enjoyable, fulfilling, tender, loving, and unexplainable.

I wake up each morning wishing the day before was merely a dream, a very bad dream. Ashley you started asking me at the age of two over and over "Is today today or today tomorrow?" What did you know back then? I now only long for yesterday, realize it is today and look forward so towards tomorrow.

I still can not fathom nor comprehend that we can not celebrate your birthday today and your brother Billy's in eight more days. August 25 and September 3 were the two happiest days of our lives, simply taken from us in one split second.

Thank you for teaching me the meaning of fun and how to laugh always. Thank you for showing me the meaning of kindness, compassion and love. You would have been the ideal teacher you set-out to be.

You and Billy had birthday parties together even your friends were friends. Everything was wonderful and perfect this time of the year. So today I woke up again to reality unfortunately, I only wish and try to imagine that you and Billy are having that party together once again, while your friends here continue to be faithful and always remembering you.

Blow those 32 candles out with lots and lots of love always and forever lovingly your mother and father. 25251002000
5:45pm 04-15-2014
Rich Giambertone
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