What could be more fun than receiving a new book in the mail? Why, receiving a new book in the mail that has a personal note from the author telling you that "you're fantastic," of course. Papa's Pearls: A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren by Diane Flynn Keith is just the boost I needed to remind me to continue the race and finish out this school year strong. A 112- page softcover book divided into 17 Chapters based on the pearls of wisdom from her Papa, Papa's Pearls is truly a love story from daddy to daughter and granddaddy to grandchild that stands the test of time and warms the heart of all who read it.
Diane's "Papa," named Carol Joseph Flynn by his parents, was born in 1922 and lived through some of the most colorful time periods in recent American history. A child of both the Prohibition and the Depression, Papa was a student in the school of hard knocks who (by his own admission) was on the fast track to prison when his saving grace came in the form of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Having lived through the "worst thing that could happen" and surviving, Papa learned the importance of hard work and felt that "everyone deserves a second chance." His time with the CCC literally turned his life around and helped him become hire-able in a time when finding a job was tough because there simply were not enough jobs to go around. Due to his diligence and integrity, Papa proved to be a successful businessman. A hard worker who loved his family with all of his heart, Papa taught his children to be a true friend to all they met and to help others through life.
Full of wisdom and strength, Papa'a favorite role was not as successful business owner, even though he was one. Instead, Papa's main focus and the first love of his life was as mentor and cheerleader for his family. How I loved reading his ideas and sharing his "pearls of wisdom" throughout this book. How I enjoyed hearing his love shine through as he spoke to his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. Papa knew to keep the main things the main things. He lived a life that truly was about others and he knew that what people need most in life is knowing that they are loved without a doubt. Papa made sure that each of his family members KNEW that he loved them and cherished them for who they were. He reassured them frequently that they were loved, that they were important, and that more than anything else, they were family. He understood the need to belong that we all share and he made sure that his family knew they belonged together. How refreshing to be reminded that "You ARE special and you ARE fantastic." I truly believe that many of the issues that we face in our world today are caused by a lack of self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. We could all use more of Papa's wisdom and love.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
Always see yourself in a favorable light. Believe in yourself. Don't let others tell you who you are. Know who you are, what you're good at, and rely on your strengths. (63)
Papa taught me to find value in the every day moments. (74)
Papa knew instinctively to take some time off to play with family and friends. Give yourself permission to play with the joy and abandonment of childhood. (96)
Can't you just feel the love?
It has been a joy and a delight to read about Papa and share him with my children. As we read through Papa's Pearls, I was reminded of my own Poppa -- my grandfather, Ellis P. Rushing. My Poppa would have turned 92 years old today. Like Papa, my Poppa loved his family and loved his wife. His legacy to us is that he loved her more than anything. There was never any doubt in our minds. As we read, my daughter shared this about our Poppa:
I don't remember any advice from Poppa, per se . . . all I know is that he loved Mama Pete more than anything . . . and that he loved us and enjoyed us. [This was evident] in the way he acted. He was always kind and caring. And the way they sat there, side by side in their chairs. I never heard him say something unkind.
I agree with my girl. Like Papa loved his wife, my Poppa loved my grandmother. He thought that she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world -- and told her frequently. He called her "the Beautiful One" and spoke of her in the most glowing of terms. It was a beautiful love that they lived out in front of us and it has impressed upon our hearts how we are to love others.
How privileged we have been to read Diane Flynn Keith's story of of love and compassion towards her Papa through the pages of her book. How blessed that we have had the opportunity to reminisce about our own Poppa, as well.
You can pick up your very own copy of Papa's Pearls: A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren and be inspired to love more yourself for only $21.97. This includes shipping and handling and will come autographed for you. Who doesn't need a little more FANTASTIC in their lives these days?
You'll want a copy for yourself -- and several to share -- because these pearls of wisdom never dull. A GREAT READ, Papa's Pearls will bless you from the beginning to end.
Papa loved his family -- and will inspire you to make sure that your family knows how much you love them. He reminds us that we MUST take the time to TELL what we KNOW. I'm convicted that I just don't TELL my family enough how very much they mean to me. They'll be hearing it a lot more from now on. Won't you join me?
Our families need to be reminded that This Day Has Great Potential. Share YOUR pearls.
I was given the opportunity to read and review Papa's Pearls as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought as well (or just click on the banner below).