Other mothers may remember lumbering through the final trimester of pregnancy in elastic waistband pants and in shoes with laces loosened more by the week.
With that in mind, I picture this young woman seven months along ambling in to buy baby clothes and instead clumsily scrambling to defend herself and her unborn daughter against someone with a kitchen knife.
Such a craven attack — unprecedented in Colorado until now and reported 17 times nationwide — could trap Michelle Wilkins in that bedroom crime scene for life, for the same yawn of time the perpetrator may face behind bars.
There, this mother in deep mourning endlessly could relive and rework the attack that doomed her baby girl.
But Wilkins reached for the officer’s hand. They waited together for the paramedics to rush in and spirit her to Longmont United Hospital where she began to recover.
Already, she was holding on for the sun to rise on a new day.
“… She was barely conscious and fought like I’ve never seen anybody fight,” Billy Sawyer, the Longmont police officer who responded first to Wilkins, 26, told the press. “She was fighting for her life. She was not willing to die at that moment. She was using every ounce of strength to stay where she was.”
Now, I hope Wilkins marshalls every ounce of strength to leave the nightmarish bedroom where for three hours she fell forlorn — a woman ravaged and left for dead.
I am holding on to that for her and holding my breath waiting for her next move.
Gently, gently now, may she find ways to redeem this jinxed defining moment.
Otherwise, Wilkins could survive and not thrive — a pottery teacher misshapen by the terror and treachery she faced on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
In media coverage of her case thus far, even official sources fall back on the word “evil” to describe and explain what happened.
I do not know what others mean by this term.
But it captures something essential about the case, and people from many different backgrounds use it without theological hangups.
To me, evil implies a dark spiritual force within that connects to a dark spiritual force greater than ourselves to deprive or otherwise harm another.
Then, there is the holy, a term I understand in the same rubric to opposite effect.
Already we see this holy moving through our community to heal her and to heal us as we reflect on the sharpest shards of our brokenness.
In vigils and through other public events, strangers have stood up for Wilkins.
I wonder if many more privately have kneeled for her and for all of us to recover, to recast the legacy of this tragedy.
We may never know how she goes.
But in good faith we stand by, a silent majority represented by Sawyer, 33, who held Wilkins’ hand to share help and hold some of her hurt.
“… Being able to go in that room and take some of that load from Michelle, and to be able to run with that for the rest of our lives with her — she’s not the only one that carried that burden. That’s why we’re here,” he said.
To help Wilkins with her medical expenses, visit http://www.gofundme.com/michelle-wilkins
Pam Mellskog can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-746-0942.