Michael Holmes and his tiny baby, Michelle Anna Holmes, are doing fine.
Cradling Michelle softly in his left arm, Holmes says he hopes the infant will be ready to leave the hospital within two weeks.Thousands of Utahns and many people from other parts of the country will be pleased to hear the news - especially those who have heaped countless prayers, love and financial support upon the Holmes family after the events of Friday, April 22.
On that night, 31-year-old Anna Holmes - a beautiful, vibrant mother of three daughters - took her children and their friends to a Kearns video store to get some tapes for a slumber party.
A bandit, armed with a large-caliber handgun, entered the store, rounded up the customers and demanded cash. Before leaving the store, he shot Anna in the back of the head for no apparent reason.
Anna, about 7 1/2 months pregnant, was flown to University Hospital, where doctors worked feverishly to save the oxygen-starved baby by Caesarean section.
"The baby had a traumatic, traumatic entry into this life; we're just happy to have her," says Michael Holmes, a soft-spoken man who looked remarkably peaceful despite the tragedy. The baby, who was due to be born on June 9, has been named Michelle Anna, after her mother and father.
Holmes spoke with the Deseret News at the hospital Wednesday, the eve of a preliminary hearing scheduled for the men accused of murdering his wife.
He was not sure whether he was going to attend the hearing Thursday afternoon before 3rd Circuit Judge Paul Grant.
"I'll probably decide about an hour before it starts. I've just not thought much about it."
Following the hearing, Grant will rule whether there is sufficient evidence to try Charles Kenneth Hodges on charges of first-degree murder and robbery, and Raymond D. Young on charges of second-degree murder, robbery and obstructing justice.
"It's out of my hands, but I'm confident that the law will deal with it," Holmes said.
"I've tried from the very onset not to be bitter (oward the killer). I'm angry because this man has violated our family. I'm not really bitter. Bitterness is a cancer that eats at you."
Besides, he said, there's too much to do and worry about at his West Valley home: Brandy, 12, has to help her softball team win two more games so they can go to Colorado for the playoffs; Mindy, 9, and Angie, 6, had better attend all their dance lessons so they can be part of the revue; and Michael needs to supervise his 17-member Boy Scout troop.
"I've been finding out that a mother's job is very demanding, especially when it's combined with a father's job," he said, thankful that Brandy can cook. "The best I can do is throw a pizza in the microwave."
On an average day, Holmes is up at 7 a.m. to help Brandy, Mindy and Angie get ready for school. Then, he spends the rest of the day sorting out medical bills and laundry, trying to preserve his new landscaping business, conversing with friends and relatives, and trying to figure out which casserole dish belongs to whom.
But concern No. 1 is Michelle Anna, a 5-pound 2-ounce wonder who looks more like Anna than Michael.
"She's lucky," said Grandma Holmes, who has become a regular fixture in the premature baby intensive care unit. "Holmes babies are usually ugly."
Holmes was reticent to go into detail regarding Michelle's ordeal. But he did say he has great faith that she's going to be OK.
"She is acting very appropriately considering the shock she went through. The way she's acting now, I think it's a miracle."
"She's not out of the woods yet, but she's overcome a lot of hurdles. We feel we've really been blessed and feel we'll continue to be sustained."
Within the next week or two, Michelle will be ready to leave the hospital. Holmes plans to take her to his mother's home, where they have set up a miniature nursery and hope to keep the baby away from well-meaning visitors.
"Premature babies are susceptible to all kinds of diseases. We can't have her where there are a lot of people," Holmes said.
Somewhere between the softball games, the dance lessons, the late-night counseling and comfort sessions with his daughters, and the visits to the hospital, Holmes finds a moment or two for his emotions.
"There are times of anger and sorrow. And I miss my wife. But I haven't broken down. I think it's because of all the support I'm getting."
His immediate goal is to get the family back to normalcy.
"Right now, we need to come together as a family and build. And that's going to be hard to do."