|My Ashton cousins, clockwise from left: Lisa, Jon, David and Tom.|
And he's been aware for some time now that he was born with a congenital heart defect.
For the last few years, David has been in and out of the hospital -- surgeries to replace his mitral valve, more surgeries to fix problems with the new valve, surgeries to install a pacemaker, etc., etc. Just recently he had a bout of pneumonia that was worse than he'd imagined, but things seemed to be clearing up.
On Monday, David went into work at the Pier 1 he manages. He put in a full day of work, finished up for the day, went out to the parking lot -- and suddenly collapsed. A co-worker saw him go down and called 911. The paramedics did everything they could, but they couldn't stabilize David's heartbeat, so they took him to the hospital. There the doctors tried numerous methods to get David's heart working again, but nothing worked.
David passed away around 9:30 that night. He had just turned 41.
|David and little Miss V.|
Mormons don't really hew to the classic Protestant notion of heaven and hell; we do believe that when people die, their spirits go to a place called the spirit world. It's here on Earth, though perhaps not in the same dimension; we don't ordinarily see them, nor do they see us. So although I will miss David tremendously, I believe he is not that far away. I believe that when my time here is up, I will see him again. And I take great comfort in thinking about David being joyously reunited with his mom, his grandmas, and the other people he loved so much who had gone from his life. As my sister pointed out, if there's such a thing as food in the spirit world, they're all probably in the kitchen making casseroles right now (David loved casseroles, especially tuna casserole with peas and crushed potato chips).
Anyway, I'm making plans to drive out of state to attend his funeral, which is scheduled for this coming Monday. Lots of time with family, lots of stories about David, probably lots of laughing and crying. After all, as David would readily tell you, he was kind of a big deal.