Papa's Pearls: A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren, by Diane Flynn Keith, is a beautiful tribute from a daughter to her father, who passed away in December of 2011.
"Papa" was the "very definition of a self-made man". Growing up during the Great Depression as the son of a boxing promoter, Papa was a young boy with a knack for trouble and a drive to succeed. Taken together, these traits were leading him down a less-than-desirable road. However, circumstances and Papa's own "street smarts" helped him to turn his life around. Papa became a very successful business owner, real estate developer, loving husband, and beloved father and grandfather.
Papa's Pearls is a short, easy read (only 112 pages), but a heartfelt memoir about Papa's life and his wisdom. Loving remembrances of Papa are entwined with stories of Papa's early life and how he rose above circumstances to become the man his daughter remembers. And his "pearls" are his nuggets of wisdom--his guidelines for living a productive and meaningful life. "Everyone Deserves a Second Chance", "It's All About Family", and "Be Grateful Every Day" were three of my favorites. Each pearl in the book is illustrated by a story and / or remembrance about Papa that shows how he not only spoke these words, he lived them, and passed them down to his children, his grandchildren, and even their children.
Diane Flynn Keith is a homeschooling mom of two since 1992, and the founder of Homefires--a website that aims to network and share information and resources to other homeschooling families. She has also written Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games and Activities to Turn Travel Time into Learning Time, and publishes ClickSchooling--a free daily newsletter showcasing web-based curriculum ideas or activities.
Most of all, though, Mrs. Keith is Papa's daughter, and has done a wonderful job of both honoring her Papa and passing along his wisdom to all of us who read her book.
When we first received this story, I began to use it as a read-aloud for my children and I to go through together. I felt there was a lot of good information and a valuable story that could be told to my 6, 10, and 13 year-olds about Papa picking himself up and moving forward. However, after about the first two chapters, I finished the story myself. There is some detail about Papa's early life that I was "editing" quite a bit, so I decided to save this for my kiddos until they were a bit older.
However, I enjoyed this story very much, and took several of Papa's Pearls to heart. The highlights that spoke to me were Papa's belief in the power of a hug or a touch, the power of people knowing you love them, and the power of calm, effective discipline. These are a few nuggets that I'm going to use daily in my relationships with my husband and children.
You can order an autographed copy of Papa's Pearls from the website for $21.97, and you can read my Crewmates' reviews if you click below.