Wherever There's Joy, There's Asaph Schwapp

And they spilled out into hallway, into the waiting room, in the quiet room of the ICU. There must have been 100 people, Loretta King said.

"You just never expect a child to pass before you do," Clarke King said. "You don't question why. But sometimes you question 'Why not me?' I should have been the one first."

"I have seen great tragedy," said Alvin Schwapp, who saw combat in Iraq and is a retired Bloomfield cop, "But for me …"

A big man's voice cracked.

"He was a sterling example about what is possible in Hartford with some positive influence, determination and opportunity."

"We talked a lot about the afterlife," Amanda said. "One thing Asaph really believed in is how you live on through the memories of others. I see this now. Everyone loved him."

None more than Amanda Finestone. Alvin called her a saint, a blessing for Asaph and their family, a woman who cared for him to the end.

Would she have married him?

"Yes," Amanda said. And then she broke down in tears for a full minute.

"I just don't know what I'm going to do with my life without him. He was amazing."

Asaph and Amanda used to joke about their names. They agreed if somebody had only seen their names, they would have gone, OK, Jew and Jew. "And then you met us and say, 'OK, black and Jew,' Amanda said. "At our family Passover seder he knew more things [from the Old Testament] than we did."

In Psalm 73, David's Asaph wrote, "With you I shall always be; you have hold of my right hand." Above his right hand, Evelyn's Asaph had a tattoo of his mom's likeness. He is with her now. He hears her beautiful voice. The joyful sounds we hear are the memories he has left behind.