Papa's Pearls is a treasure of a book that I recently had the absolute pleasure to read and review. You know that sad, nostalgic feeling you have when you read a book, connect with its characters, and then it's finished, but you don't want it to end? That's how I still feel about this book. What an honour it has been to read the story of Papa, daddy to author Diane Flynn Keith. Diane is an author, speaker and editor-in-chief of Homefires.com.
Mrs. Keith relates her Papa's life and the pearls of wisdom he learned from his hardships and experiences and then passed on to his children and grandchildren. Each chapter is titled with one of Papa's pearls of wisdom. Here are some of my favourites:
* Be Grateful Every Day
* Tell Yourself You Like It
* Everyone Deserves a Second Chance
* Let It Go - Like Water Off a Duck's Back
I love reading other people's stories and this one has quickly become a favourite. The stories that Diane shared about her father, his childhood in the Depression Era, his life change from being on a fast-track to prison to becoming a self-made, successful businessman, his loving interactions with his wife and three children all made for an endearing and fascinating read.
I read Papa's Pearls aloud to my five children (ages 6-16) during our regular lunchtime reading time. There are 17 chapters and a total of 112 pages. Each chapter is short, which made it an easy book to read. We enjoyed hearing the joys and struggles of this wonderful man. He lived life to the fullest, was a hard worker, trusted in God, made special memories with his wife, children and grandchildren, and generously shared the secrets to the success in his life.
I was challenged, as a mom, to keep reminding my children how special they are, that I believe in them and how much I love them. We already practice some of Papa's advice, i.e. "be grateful every day" and "let it go - like water off a duck's back", but we have also been encouraged to "find money in the street" and "keep a foxy pocket", as well.
My favourite chapter comes at the very end of the book. It's the one titled "Fantastic", which happens to be a word I use often. This quote from Diane's mom (in an email to Diane) really struck a chord with me and supports what I have learned about words in the last few years,What a beautiful example to follow! My words become my beliefs (and of course, my beliefs, in turn effect my words) and have a tremendous, powerful impact on everyone around me. This is such a confirmation to create and live in a culture of honour. I would have enjoyed knowing Papa and am so thankful for this opportunity to get to know him via the pages of Papa's Pearls.
My hairdresser reminded me that what you say becomes what you believe. I was reminded that your father always told people that his life, his company, his children, his wife, and his health were the best. People made a point to tell me that they had never heard a man say so many wonderful things about his wife. They look at me with wonder because he said such nice things about me. His beliefs made him happy, and that seemed to be his goal.
On a side note, I was also reminded of this song, entitled "Doodle Dee Do", which I had not heard in ages. We used to sing a silly version of it in junior high youth at church, and I cannot actually remember all of the lyrics we sang. I was not aware until reading this book that this was a song from the 1940's. Thanks to an old player piano he acquired, Papa loved it and sang it over and over with his children. What unforgettable memories!
Papa's Pearls is available for $21.97, plus $7.00 shipping and handling at Homefires.com.