Papa's Pearls was written by Diane Flynn Keith. She was the oldest of Papa's children. She had a sister, Carol, and a brother, Brad. Their family grew up in California. Throughout the years their father (Papa) had little tidbits of wisdom and she wanted to share those with others. To read more about Diane click here.
I received the book Papa's Pearls about a month ago. To be quite honest, I kind of expected what would be in the book, but delayed in reading it because I knew how I would react while reading a book like this.
Papa (Carol Joseph Flynn) would be about the same age of my own mother's father (had he not gone to be with the Lord in 1997). So basically I am reading stories that could be about my own grandfather. Well, because I was very close to my grandfather (much like Diane and the rest of her family) I know this would be something hard for me to read. But I wanted to read it so I could share it with my children. My grandfather never got to record something like this for his children or grandchildren.
So much history was given by Diane about her Papa. In reading this book, you almost feel like a member of the family. It talks about how he grew up as a depression-era child and how he got hooked into the wrong crowd. He was involved in the Military and even in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps.
Papa wanted his children to succeed, but he didn't want them handed everything. He taught them to work hard for things they wanted. He also wanted to make sure they were "street smart". The skills of being "street smart" are something that are definitely lacking today and it was so good to see that someone still thinks they need to be taught.
Here are just a few of the "Pearls" that Papa Flynn taught his children:
"Get it in writing!"
"If you ever need anything - You've Got it!"
"Everybody deserves a Second Chance."
"It's all about Family"
"I Love You. You know that, Right?" (one of my personal favorites)
"Where's My Hug." (yet another of my favorites)
Throughout the entire book you can tell that family meant everything to Papa. He made sure his family knew they were loved and taken care of. This extended not to just his children, but grandchildren as well.
The book may written by Diane, but there are stories from her sibling and even Papa's Grandchildren. Everyone worked together to compile this book. It was even approved by Papa himself. He got to read a rough draft just a few days before he passed away. His words to Diane were "I think this is a good idea. You gotta tell 'em."
Papa wanted his words of wisdom and love that he shared with his family to be shared across the world. Our children need to hear that they are loved. Papa Flynn wants us to see his example and know that you can show your children and family love with whatever you have in time and resources. Your children don't have to have everything. They just need to know that they are loved.
A Father's love is pivotal in a child's life. They need to see love demonstrated and lived out at home. Papa wanted that message shared.
I am so glad that I read this book. I know that I love my children, but often I struggle to make sure they know it. I want to go that extra mile to show them and let them know they are loved. They need to be guided to know how to live in this world. So much has changed but a lot hasn't. Street smarts are a necessity in life. Not just book smarts. It's ok to be book smart, but street smarts are what can help get you through the every day challenges in life.
This is definitely a book that I am planning on having Jonathan (our 11yo) read over the summer as part of our summer reading program. I think it will be beneficial to him to read about someone who grew up in a different era. Since we don't live close to my grandmother and all of his great-grandfathers are no longer with us, I think this will shed some light for him on life in a different time. But I also believe that it will give him some much needed background on what life was like growing up in the depression and how even today hard work, street smarts and love need to be part of the family.
I am also passing this book along to my husband so he can read it on his 1 hour bus trip to the city to work. He didn't get to know his grandparents that well (who also lived during the depression era) and I think that this would be something good for him to read as well. I have the ulterior motive of having him and Jonathan go on a trip this summer to have "guy time" and I think this would be a great book to talk about as they both should have read it by then.
Thank you Diane for sharing your family with us. It was great to read stories about your Papa and how he raised you and your siblings. How he showed his love for you and wanted the best for you. But he didn't give you everything. He taught you how to work for what you wanted and reach for the stars. This book was such a blessing for me to read. It brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of my grandfather and had he lived longer I would have for sure heard stories like these. This book truly is a gift. A gift from a father to his family and to the world.
Papa's Pearls is available for purchase here. It is $21.97 (includes S&H). I highly recommend this book to any family.