In his book, The Forgotten Commandment, Dennis Rainey encourages readers to write a formal tribute to their parents and present it to them during a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.). Following is an example of a tribute. Click here for more information on honoring your parents and for more tribute examples.
Tribute to Clyde Cooper from his son, John:
I would hear the big yellow oil truck pull up to the house and knew that Dad was home. You would come in the door with your Shell uniform smelling of diesel and greet us boys with a big hug. Your pockets would be full of pens, scribbled notes on scraps of paper, and D-16's. Everything about you said you put in a hard day—from the strewn hair and oil-stained shirt to using the gritty green Lava soap to wash up.
It was great to have a dad that had a reputation of being a prankster and a passion for mischief. Three sons could not have asked for anything better. Your stories about the jokes you played when you were young kept us laughing and filled our heads with great ideas. The fun you brought into the house was steady and unpredictable. Whenever you went to the Navy Yard Surplus sale, I knew a surprise was coming. The totally useless fiberglass cone you brought back was priceless. Rolling down Mrs. Ward's front yard in the cone kept us entertained for days. Then your crazy idea of painting it neon-pink and placing in the front of the station brought more comments than one could count.
Your devotion to teaching us boys right from wrong, doing your best in whatever you do, and growing up to be Christ followers was not always easy and probably seemed fruitless at times. But you know, all the times you made me go to church, all the times you got up early to take me camping with the Scouts, all the time you spent modeling to me what it meant to work hard was worth it. What you taught and lived out has taken hold in my life and is being passed to my children.
You taught me how to honor my parents as you looked after your mom and dad. Even though you may have been a handful for them when you were young, you were the faithful "oak tree" that was still standing with them in the end. My trips with you to Santa Cruz over Thanksgiving were a highlight.
Thank you Dad for making our home a safe haven. I always knew that you and Mom would listen to me—no matter what scrape I was in. You always stood up for me and believed the best in me. And even though a few shakes of the utensil drawer containing the wooden spoon would send us boys running, we knew you loved us and wanted the best for us. You and Mom were a terrific model of marriage—one in which a son could count on standing the test of time. I always knew that Mom would come back from the fabric store after spending a few hours touching and feeling the fabric.
The memories you gave us were rich and plentiful. Even though your days were full in keeping the different businesses running and maintaining the rental properties, you were always available for me. You took the time to take the family camping—whether getting rained out at Cape Alava or traveling in our station wagon pulling our Prowler trailer. You were there to greet me at the end of the grueling 50-mile hikes with the Boy Scouts and you were there listening to me plunk the keys at my piano recitals. You comforted me at my first car accident and you encouraged me to keep at it in earning my Eagle Scout Award.
Lastly, I want to thank you for giving me the name I can wear with pride. Most people knew the name Cooper or "Coop" around town—and it was a distinct advantage. Our name was associated with honesty, generosity, and hard work. You have kept the Cooper name free from scandal and embarrassment. With such an incredible opportunity and challenge, I pray that my wife and children can wear the name Cooper with pride as well.
And by God's grace I will.
I love you, Dad.
Copyright © 2004 by John Cooper. All rights reserved. Used with permission.