Monday, April 7, 2014

HOW COULD SHE? SIMPLY PUT, I DON'T KNOW

Last week a local woman walked her eldest son to the bus stop, kissed him good-bye, and upon returning home, ordered Luke, her three-year-old, and Daniel, her six-year-old, into the bathtub, submerged the two boys under water, and then fully-clothed, sat on them to make sure they couldn't get out.  Afterwards she called 911 to report that her children were unresponsive laying on the bathroom floor. Luke was dead when the paramedics arrived; Daniel was flown to the hospital in critical condition.  Five days later, having been placed on life support and declared brain-dead, Daniel died, too.

HOW COULD SHE?  SIMPLY PUT, I DON'T KNOW.

But as human beings who begin asking "why" practically from the time we slip out of the womb, I guess some explanation would help to settle our confused minds.  She told the arresting officers that the "crazy voices" she was hearing suggested she'd be a better mother to her firstborn son if the other two were out of the way.  By identifying the voices as "crazy" why would she then listen to and act upon them?  If she knew these taunts were illogical, why harm the children she loved?

As the investigation continued, the news reported that Laurel Michelle Schlemmer had tried to injure the same two boys before in another incident.  Though no charges were ever filed, it appeared that this mother accidentally ran over them with her car. In 2009, she left her toddler alone in the car while she went shopping.  When observing a small child seemingly by himself, a responsible person called the police who determined that the temperature inside the vehicle had risen to 112 degrees.  She was never held accountable in either situation.

HOW COULD SHE?  SIMPLY PUT, I DON'T KNOW.

It isn't my place to judge, and I don't.  Her husband and the church her family has attended for over a decade are supporting Michelle, as she is known by those closest to her, through prayer and fond memories. The only conclusion her pastor could offer is that Satan is indeed alive and working to infest the souls of good people even today.  Perhaps that is one way of looking at her horrible actions. Other professionals cite mental health issues which were never completely addressed.  Possibly severe depression and acute anxiety played a role in her decision to murder her boys. Perhaps somewhere in-between these assumptions, lies the answer to the question, "why."  But, for me, I still ask

HOW COULD SHE?  SIMPLY PUT, I DON'T KNOW.

I never met this family yet somehow in a strange way I feel strongly connected to them.  My heart goes out to Marc Schlemmer and his remaining son, Joshua.  How do they ever pick up the pieces of their severely fractured family?  Where do they go to escape the horrific notoriety pressed upon them through no fault of their own?  How do they reconnect with a wife and mother who murdered their son and brother?  And, most importantly, will they ever know "why" she did what she did?  I don't think so and perhaps they'll be much better off if they never have that question answered.

HOW COULD SHE?  I DON'T KNOW AND PERHAPS IT'S A BLESSING NOT TO KNOW!