My dad has created a legacy. It is one that is filled with wisdom and truth. Lessons I have learned over time, have come naturally pouring out of me as I parent my own children. Lessons of character, identity, and devotion.
If there has been one lesson my dad has wanted to instill in us as his kids – its character. He is a hard worker, modeling for us what it means to put who you are behind the work you do. Growing up he would tell us, “I don’t care what grade you get, as long as you can look me in the eye and tell me you gave it your all.” As I took my first graduate class last spring, he stated that same classic phrase. The powerful part is that he truly believes what he was saying. He always stands behind his word.
Understanding who you are and where you came from is a fundamental desire for every person. When you know you know who you are and where you come from – strength and confidence will shine out of you.
When I was six years old, my mom enrolled me in a ballet class on Monday nights. I remember I hated having to go. I proudly announced that, “I quit.”
That night my dad sat next to me on the couch. I remember a the feelings of acceptance and warmth as he talked with me through the issue. I will never forget what he said to me next. He stated with a gentle voice, “Melissa, you do not have to enroll in the class next year, but you need to finish this commitment. You are not a quitter; Strohmaiers never quit. That is just who we are.”
“You are not a quitter; Strohmaiers never quit. That is just who we are.”
There were countless moments like these ones. Ones where he instilled in me a powerful sense of identity. He found good in me when I was feeling like a failure. He found ways to affirm me and pull out the pieces of myself that at moments felt lost and hidden. To give a gift of Identity to your children and then see it instilled in their children is priceless.
Devotion is defined as “Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.” The devotion my father has shown me has changed my life. My dad showed up in physically and emotionally in my life. He brushed my hair as a child, prayed with me each night, sat for hours counting the number of juggles I got with a soccer ball, attended my sport games, listened to me speak, and the list goes on. He showed his love and devotion to me is countless ways. However, I could never have imagined that he would be just as devoted to my own children. He delights in all of who they are as little people. My children know their Opa loves them, not just because of his words, but because he shows up, listens, and is present with them.
My Dad has loved each of my kids so well, but for some reason, the way my Dad loves my son, Ayden, makes my mamma’s heart break is the most tender way.
Ayden is silly and goofy and really really loud. He is a kid that makes us roll on the ground laughing and pull our hair out in frustration. He is independent with a free spirit and my dad’s delight in every part of Ayden. The best part is Ayden knows it.
Impact of A Dad
My children will never know the amount of money my father has made, but they will remember the amount of time he was on the ground building wooden tracks and playing trains with them. They might not be able to recalled what he does for a living, but they will recall the ways he made them feel as he held them, spent time with them, and loved on them.
My Father is not perfect. He has made and will make a lot of mistakes. But the moments he has displayed his character, instilled identity into us, and expressed his devotion for me and my family will forever overshadowed his shortcomings. I am forever changed because of my father and his role in my life. I am in awe at the love my father has for me and my family.
Thank you Dad, you are the best. I am better because of you. My children are lucky to have you in their lives. Happy Father’s day from a bunch that loves you so dearly.