At just 5″ X 8″ and 113 pages, Papa’s Pearls is an exceptional, little paperback book; written by Diane Flynn Keith, about her father, Carol Joseph Flynn. Mr. Flynn is Papa. His pearls are words of wisdom he lived by and readily shared with his family and friends. They are a legacy of love to his children, his grandchildren; and now to us.
After I spent some time browsing Diane’s blog, learning more about her and her book, I couldn’t wait to read it! The blog, by the same name, Papa’s Pearls, is a wonderful compliment to the book. Appreciating family photographs, as I do, I love that Diane has set up a photo album of Papa. It is a sweet connection to the man I’ve met while reading Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children.
I read the story of Carol Joseph Flynn’s life aloud to my children, in the evenings before bed. They always wanted more! Each of the 17 chapters is like a snapshot of time, detailing actual tidbits of fact and history; woven with personal accounts, Papa’s wit and feelings, and the lessons he learned. He was born in 1922, in San Francisco. He rose above a life of hard knocks, becoming a good man, a respected leader; and a well-loved father and grandfather. Because he lived through war time and The Great Depression, just as my children’s grandparents did, there was much material for discussion. We could contrast and compare what Diane wrote of his life with what we know of their lives. I read aloud the Introduction, at the beginning of the book, so my kids would know that Papa had already died and his daughter was writing about the impact he had on his family’s life. My husband’s parents, my mother; and my grandmother have all died in the past 15 years. Nearly every time I read a chapter from Papa’s Pearls, our memories were sparked to reminisce and talk about our own family heritage. How Grandpa did “this”, always said “that”, or looked at Grandma “just so.” What Gramma “believed” and how she shared her faith. Papa’s Pearls is indeed full of love and wisdom from a life well lived, but it is so much more to us. It is a tool that stirs our own memories, and unlocks our personal heritage. No doubt, we will read it time and again!
An autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls is available for $21.97, on the Papa’s Pearls website. Diane Flynn Keith is also a homeschool coach and mentor, and you can find her at Homefires.com, and Carschooling.com.
What a delight that Diane Keith could spend time with her dad, recounting memories of his nearly 90 years, before his death in December 2011. She has written a fine tribute to him, his resilience and his positive out look on life; sharing with the world that we are loved more than we know. Papa says:
“What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen?”
“You gotta Use Your Street Smarts.”
“Tell Yourself You Like It.”
“It’s All about Family.”
“Be Grateful Everyday.”
“Tell Yourself You Like It,” is a prime example of Papa’s out look on life. Being a plumber in San Francisco, Papa often had to work in the sewers. When his young children asked him how he could stand the smell, he replied, “You just tell yourself you like it. Then, it’s not so bad.” Many years ago, my suburban raised husband got a job on a hog farm. He was going to college and there was a house for our family, on the property, provided with the job. The smell of the area was just animal-waste-ripe, and it seemed to permeate everything. Every time we would leave the house, on our return up the driveway my husband would say, “Mmmm, smells like money!” and he’d smile. We were just so thankful for a place to live and a dependable job! We got through that time with genuinely grateful hearts and good attitudes. We learned so many life lessons during that time, and some of them we didn’t even realize until we read Papa’s story. Diane writes that her “Papa knew what research studies show. People who have positive attitudes are winners in good times, and survivors in hard times. You are what you think. Tell yourself you like it.”
My crew mates have also written reviews of Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren, and you can find them when you click the banner and follow the link below.
Disclaimer* I received an autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog. The opinions expressed are my own.
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