April 18, 1996 - December 6, 2004, Niskayuna, New York
In memory of a very special girl our daughter, Alyssa Barbiero.
Alyssa had a special gift. Though only 8 years old, she not only had the ability to deal with her disorder, she had the strength to comfort everyone around her. She was our rock when her big sister passed away in March. She knew exactly when we needed a hug or a kiss, which she showered generously upon us. This past December, we lost her to NBIA. She was our baby girl.
Alyssa was born in Montreal and grew up in a multi-cultural household. Even so, she was adamant about language in the stubborn way she could sometimes be: she only wanted to learn English. She ignored all the other languages spoken around her.
When she was 2, we moved to upstate New York where she attended Clover Patch Preschool. She went on to Rosendale and Birchwood Elementary schools in Niskayuna. In kindergarten, she made some very special friends, friends she would keep for life.
In 2003, she took part in the Make-a-Wish program and said she wanted a dog. This was the happiest event of her life. She picked a puppy from a litter of five black labradors and chose her pet’s name all by herself: Emmy. They were inseparable. Alyssa let everyone know that Emmy was her dog.
Today, it is this affectionate dog that comforts us. Thank you, Alyssa, for this parting gift.
There are so many other people we also want to thank. First and foremost, we are so grateful to our parents, brothers and sister-in-law for all their love and support. We also thank our neighbors who make us feel like family and the staff, parents and students at Rosendale and Birchwood. They always made Alyssa feel comfortable.
To all of Alyssa’s instructional aides and teachers, we know she had the best, and we thank you. Your determination and dedication made her love going to school.
Thanks to all of Alyssa’s bus drivers and aides who made her rides to school fun. And thanks to the Niskayuna School District for taking care of all of her needs.
Special thanks to Pat Sweeney, Deidra McGuire, Laura Lape, Ali Lerner-Doyle, Megan Adams and the Michalisins for taking care of Alyssa and bringing her so much joy. Heartfelt thanks to Holly Lape, who was a very special person to Alyssa and remains the foundation of our family. Holly has stood by us through thick and thin and is our guardian angel.
To Niskayuna residents, our wonderful community, which continues to help us through this very difficult time, we appreciate you so much. To all of our friends, you know who you are, thank you for helping us.
Last, but not least, thanks to Brian Alyward and Mark Michalisin who brought out Alyssa’s true character in their touching eulogies. No words can express our gratitude to you. The smile you would bring to Alyssa’s face told us she was a very lucky girl to have known you—and all who touched her during her all-too-brief time with us.
Alyssa’s passing has left a large hole in our lives that will never be filled. But she will live forever in our hearts. Thanks, Alyssa, for bringing joy and strength into our lives and teaching us the true meaning of life. We were truly blessed to have you as our daughter. We will never stop missing you!
All our love Mom, Dad and Emmy.
- By Gerry and Bela Barbiero