It wasn’t the sun glowing through her window that awakened Marie this morning; it was the resonance of her six-month-old baby girl crying. She got out of bed and went into her daughter’s room over to the crib, scooping her little one up into her arms, cuddling Emily to her breast. Once in her mother’s loving arms she quieted.
As Marie nursed Emily, overwhelming thoughts assailed her, flying through her head like a swarm of panic ridden bees. The day of Court was here. Today, she would give the testimony of Seth’s brutal violent and vicious assaults, he had inflicted on her during their six years of marriage.
The last assault was the one that nearly killed her and Emily just five days before her daughter was born. It was also the one that incarcerated Seth. The vicious attack had put Marie in the hospital with eighteen stitches in her head, a broken leg and acute bruising to her stomach. It was this trauma to the abdomen area that put her baby in distress. After an emergency caesarian Emily was born. Her precious baby girl was the bright light in the shadows of the horrifying assault.
Her newborn daughter remained in the hospital as long as Marie did, due to intense trauma to the head, while still in the womb. Miraculously, they recovered fully with no lingering physical affects. Now six months later, only her devastated emotions, shattered dreams, harrowing memories, and the scar on her forehead remained.
Emily now finished nursing, Marie, still in her nightgown, began to get her daughter dressed. Soon, her best friend would be there to baby sit while she went to Court. Once she was dressed herself, it would be time to call her Pastor’s wife. Sandra, had not only been a great support to her through all she endured, she also offered tremendous support by joining her during the court process today.
With Emily now dressed, lying serenely on Marie’s bed, it was time to get ready herself. Standing there gazing at her dear baby girl, Marie fell to her knees, placing her elbows on the edge of the bed with her head bowed down, tears bucketing down her cheeks. She was sobbing from the depths of her shattered, overburdened, beleaguered heart. Marie knew that there was no way she could go to court today. Feeling defeated before she even started, she cried out to God in her anguish.
“Lord, I can’t do this. I feel so weak in spirit, so broken inside. It is all too overwhelming. The panic is back, my heart is pounding out of my chest, I am afraid. What if he gets out of jail? What if he comes back and this time kills me? Who will take care of Emily? What if somehow he manages to get access to her? I don’t even know how I can face him in court today. I can’t even go to court, I’m too afraid. How can I not go? What am I going to do? How do I keep on? It’s his fault that I am in torment like this. So many times I wish he had just killed me but then I think of Emily. Would it have been easier if he had not been charged with beating me up? Now he will want to hurt me more for sending him to jail…” through her cry to God she could hear the phone ringing beside the bed.
“Hello, yes this is Marie.” It was the Courthouse.
“Mrs. Wilkinson, this is David Armando, I’m calling to notify you that you do not need to come to court this morning. Something happened last night. Your husband committed suicide. He died at 4 am this morning.” His voice was compassionate as he told her the news.
“Seth killed himself?” She asked astounded.
“Yes, Mrs. Wilkinson, I am sure. I know this must be a shock to you. The one thing you can hold on to now is that you are safe. He is not able to ever harm you again. Be thankful for that and the fact he did not succeed at killing you. I conjecture your husband just could not cope with the sentence ahead of him.” Mr. Armando said his good-bye; the call had ended, along with her husband’s life and the quandary about court today.
Marie lay down beside her now sleeping baby feeling forlorn. Seth dead. Her safe. Emily safe. Asking God help her to stand.
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