I am a grandmother now, swimming in the memory of my beloved mother, awash in the joy of the birth months ago of my one and only grandchild.
My new “gramma” status — since the Mighty Magnus who lives in Minnesota was born — has altered everything.
It’s given new meaning to my life as an older woman, and warmed me with thoughts of what it must have been like for my own mother to hold her first child — me — and my only child.
This incomparable new chapter in my later life — witnessing the tenderness and passion my son and his wife have for their January baby — has been a miracle, and a hope the actuarial tables dealing with my age group are wrong.
And yet on a cold morning last week, shortly after being texted the latest picture of the Magnificent mini Magnus — a newborn baby boy, still attached to his umbilical cord, was found in a bag left to surely die in an alley on top of a garbage can.
It’s not a new story.
Children, our most innocent victims, have always been subject to crimes so heinous, tears are a minor drop in a sea of depravity and despair.
As a former police reporter, I know things most of us couldn’t imagine; I’ve seen things I wish I never had; I regret to this day a year spent decades ago uncovering a new scourge hitting the nation’s mailboxes: child pornography and rape.
And what cops witness every day, you don’t want to know.
I don’t know what propelled this precious baby into the ignominy of his birth, but his discovery was embraced by a birth canal filled with love by the people who found him and those who fought to keep him alive.
So, on Mother’s Day, I’ll be thinking about the brave, desperate young women who had the courage to permit their babies to be adopted when they knew they could not take care of them or they would not be safe.
And it will also recur to me the little foundling, who was given the name of a policeman who fought to save him, also happens to be the name of my son, Patrick.
And when the glow of my iPhone spits out the phosphorescent late-night video feeds of my grandson’s growth spurts on Mother’s Day, I’ll do what I always do at bedtime.
I’ll toss a quick wink at my mother’s old tincture-colored high school graduation picture — and say night night to “June,” the unrelenting loving wind who blew courage in my ear from my birth in 1943 to her death in 2006.
And next month, on what would have been Mom’s 99th birthday, I will once again visit her grave in a North Dakota cemetery, where my father, grandparents and great-grandparents are buried.
Did I mention Mom is buried next to a field of sunflowers, whose faces eventually point toward the sun?
And on that day of extended remembrance, I will recite Mom’s favorite poem, “Little Orphant Annie,” as my sisters and I did when we buried her on a lovely September day amid flowering peonies, the flutter of wild turkeys, and a prairie wind which, thankfully, chose to be quiet.
And leave behind a pink rose.
Ho! Toe to toe . . .
Men in tights: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is known for being fast on his feet, was feted by the Joffrey Ballet recently for his commitment to the arts.
“My mother always wanted me to become a ballet dancer — this may be the closest I ever get to the Joffrey stage,” Emanuel told Sneed. “I’ll finally be making a Jewish mother happy, which is hard to do!”
• Backstory: Emanuel, who loved ballet, studied dance in Evanston — but tells Sneed he really wanted it to make him more proficient at soccer when he was a kid. And he opted to nix his mother’s urging to take a Joffrey scholarship instead of going to college — and wound up majoring in dance at Sarah Lawrence College.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Former Gov. Jim Thompson spotted celebrating his 83rd birthday with wife, Jayne, and pals Thursday at Harry Caray’s eatery in River North. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Prince Royce, 30; Cam Newton, 30; and Lana Condor, 22. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Rami Malek, 38; Emilio Estevez, 57; Tony Hawk, 51. . . . And happy belated birthdays to Carol Carroll and her beloved hubby, Tom: both forever ageless, priceless and forever dear to me.