This picture was taken by my brother, Louis Bloom, the evening of Jan. 26, 2000, at our home on Camano Island. It shows our sister, Melanie, combing mom's hair before she helped her to bed. Melanie spent the night. The next morning, when she went into her bedroom, found her dead. Mom was lying on her stomach (her preferred position for sleep) with her head on her forearm and the other hand over her wrist. There was no sign of struggle.
I saw mom last on Tuesday, Jan. 25. I prepared her a late breakfast. She ate one egg and some hashbrowns, but did not have much of an appetite. The day before she had eaten pretty well, but seemed to have some flu symptoms. I called on Wednesday evening while Melanie was taking care of her. I asked Melanie to tell Ma I had bought her some Valentine candy (a box of Sweethearts which were her favorites from childhood). Ma said, "OK."
I received notice of mom's death while I was celebrating morning Mass, Thursday, Jan. 27. It took a couple of minutes to gain some composure. I completed the Mass using the prayers for a priest's parents:
Ma with Aunt Katie & me (After Mass for 80th Birthday, March 14, 1988)
Ma with Fr. Matthew (Granddaughter Tonya, Great Grandchildren, Rachael & Gabriel; Daughter Melanie, Feb. 20, 1999)
Ma with Teresa Gomez (Lawrence Bloom's Wife, Christmas, 1997)
Ma with Bumper (February 6, 1999)