I have to admit that I fell in love with my latest review book as soon as I opened the front cover. The author had signed my copy and added the note, "You're fantastic!"
Papa's Pearls: A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren is Diane Flynn Keith's biography of her father, Carol Joseph Flynn. Through touching stories and anecdotes, the author allows the reader to share in some of the wisdom and love her Papa shared with his children and grandchildren throughout their lives.
As I read this enjoyable book, I was drawn into the stories of Papa's growing up years and was inspired by the way he turned his life around. This book wasn't merely a story about a single man's life, though. It's a story of how this man took his life experiences and intentionally passed his wisdom along to his children and grandchildren.
Papa had countless sayings that are recorded in this book -- pearls of wisdom that can inspire the reader just as they inspired his family. For instance, when faced with a troublesome situation, Papa simply declared that "bad things don't happen to our family." It's hard to worry if you know that bad things don't (and won't) happen. That phrase didn't just represent a wishful way of thinking; it represented a confidence in knowing that their family could overcome anything, even things that might seem bad to others.
One thing stuck with me as I finished the book. Throughout the stories, Papa's children and grandchildren all point out the ways that they knew their Papa loved them and was always there for them. In many cases, it was simply the way he frequently said, "I love you. You know that, right?" I'm touched by the story of a man who took the time to intentionally make sure every single member of his family knew how special they were and how much he loved them. His influence on his family makes me want to be more intentional with the way I speak words of encouragement and love to my children.
I could ramble on for several more paragraphs trying to recount more of my favorite passages or more of Papa's sayings that touched me. Instead, I'll just say that this book is one of the most enjoyable, inspiring books that I've read lately.
You can purchase your own autographed copy of Papa's Pearls from the author for $14.97.
As for the inscription in my book, "Fantastic!" was the way Papa always answered the question, "How are you?" Not only does that phrase remind me of my own dad, it also reminds me of the influence I can have by intentionally sharing my positive outlook on life with my family.