Agnes Sparrow is Missing

So here's the thing. Yesterday was my Pop's birthday. He's been trout fishing in heaven for six years now and I miss him terribly some days. I brought my Mother, Flossie, a copy of Agnes yesterday because, I don't know, I finally had the nerve to show it to her and I thought it would be sweet to give it to her on my Pop's b'day. My mother has been wheelchair-bound and living in a smelly nursing home for nearly nine years now. She's 86. Anyhoo, she was thrilled and proud and even shed a tear as I read the part where I mention her in the acknowledgments. She smiled and in a way only Flossie can said, "Better than a poke in the eye."

I set the book on her dresser. "That's nice, Joycie," she said. "I can see it from here." I do believe she was truly proud of me. Flossie will never read Agnes, she can't read too much anymore but that's okay. It was nice to see her hold it, almost like presenting her with another grandchild. Okay, too melodramatic. Anyway, I kissed her cheek. Assured her I would visit again and went home. Three hours later my mother called to tell me Agnes is missing. "I went down to play bingo and when I came back they stole it. I can't find it anywhere. They steal everything around here."

Should I be upset? Or look on the bright side and hope whoever "borrowed" Agnes is reading it and enjoying it and will tell someone else who in turn will tell someone else. Should I believe that this petty thievery could result in Agnes going viral through the nursing home population and beyond? I don't know what to think.

I will bring her another copy and this time I am going to chain it to her dresser, you know, with one of those book leashes they use in libraries on the magazines (if I can find one). My first novel pilfered from an old woman's nursing home room. What does it mean?

6 comments:

Pam Halter said...

I think it means that someone was SO intrigued by the book, they HAD to read it right away!

And they were too cheap to buy their own.

Laurie said...

What a touching story about you giving your mom your book. Sounds like good material for another book to me. At least you know your Agnes is popular, even though I don't condone thievery. I enjoyed your teaching and have loved what I have read so far from your novel.

Joyce said...

Thanks Laurie. I just hope whoever has it will read it and tell others. Keep writing!

Phoebe said...

Aww, that's so sweet (not the book getting stolen, the good stuff before that). That's a nice pic of your mom, too.

Rita Gerlach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita Gerlach said...

Wow, Joyce. Well, I think that Agnes caught someone's attention and they figured that Flossie wouldn't miss her. So they took the book when nobody was looking. Sounds like a good idea for a mystery novel. You could write a short story 'Who Stole Agnes Sparrow', or 'The Kidnapping of Agnes Sparrow'.

Great idea about chaining the next copy of the book to your mom's dresser! She is right about people stealing things in nursing homes.

Put a note beside your book --- something like 'This is the property of Flossie, given to her by the author - her daughter. DO NOT TOUCH! And will the person who removed the last copy please be so kind to pass it on to someone else to read when they are finished.'

My mom did the same thing when she read her name in my Acknowledgments. She shed some tears and went on and on about how proud she is of me. She's read Surrender the Wind three time in a row. I only wish my Dad were alive to have seen it. But he's having a much better time building a mansion in Heaven.