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 Gene Eckerson from his son, Chuck:

Building memories along the way: That’s what My Dad is all about.

It seems as though My Dad always challenged me to try something new—and never to say, “I can’t.” This taught me self-confidence and courage. Courage to think for myself. To make my own decisions. And not to follow the crowd.

My Dad was a good provider but this required sacrifice. He worked hard and had to be away from home a lot. I cannot remember a time when we did not have more than enough. But My Dad made us a priority when he was home. Even with his travel schedule, My Dad was involved in PTA, school carnivals and always made it to my band concerts.

My Dad always made sure that we had a few weeks set aside each year for a family vacation. Whether it was to Oglebay Park or the year we drove cross-country to visit Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and the Grand Canyon or one of our many trips to Topsail Island, we did it right. My Dad knew it was important to build these memories along the way.

Dad was never very good with tools. I can still remember the time we had to take him to the Emergency Room after he hit his thumb with a hammer. But this doesn’t mean he never built anything. On the contrary. But what he built wasn’t a bird house or even a go-cart. It was something stronger and more lasting than these. He built character in me. He taught me good family values; the value of hard work; going the extra mile; to never give up; the discipline of saving; to think independently and to not follow the crowd. I saw these things at work in My Dad and they helped him be successful.

Being in the business world his whole career, My Dad has learned a lot about business and about life. He has taken great delight in passing this wisdom on to me. And this continues today. He is still challenging me to do those things that will make me more successful in my career and to maintain balance in my life.

Dad worked hard to provide a stable home life. There was a time when I knew everything was not going well at home but I never feared a divorce. My Dad had the courage to face problems head-on and to ask for help when he needed it.

At a time when so many of my friends cannot remember their fathers ever telling them that they loved or showed affection to them, I cannot help but think of My Dad. I cannot recall a time when My Dad missed an opportunity to tell me, “I love you,” to give me a kiss, or to let me know how proud he was of me. And this tradition lives on today.

I have a lot to be proud of and thankful for in My Dad. God chose us for each other. He is an example of so many things I want to become. So, in this tribute to My Dad—Gene Eckerson, I won’t miss this opportunity to say, “I love you” and, “Thanks for building these memories along the way.”

Tribute to Betty Eckerson from her son, Chuck:

My Mom is the most giving mom around; a real role-model of caring.

Growing up, she gave me what every child needs most. Love and acceptance. Healthy self-esteem. A positive, can-do attitude. Security and vision. Strong convictions, will and character.

My Mom always told me, “I love you” and let me know how proud she was of me and how she believed in me. She made me a priority in her life—toting me to music lessons and never once missing a band or orchestra concert. My Mom even came to cold, Friday night football games (or frequently just the half-times) just to see me play in the marching band.

My school was always important to My Mom so she made it a point to get to know my teachers well and was active in PTA—even when other moms did not join her.

My Mom , through her life-long example, taught me solid values and to be an independent thinker. She made it easy for me to make my own choices about life and not “follow the crowd.” Who knows what trouble was avoided by this?

Our family is not perfect and has not been without its problems. I know it must have been hard raising children, caring for Nana and running a household with Dad’s heavy travel schedule. But she did it. My Mom showed me how to work through hard times. I never feared a marriage breaking up. What a sense of security this gave me. What a good model of toughness for marriages today.

My Mom gave me security in other ways too. She always encouraged me to try new things. And I did—because it was okay to fail. The real failure was not trying and not living up to my potential.

I will never forget My Mom‘s creativity—making all sorts of Halloween costumes (Indians, turtles, etc.)—often finishing them just moments before they were needed. This creativity lives on today. Who else would have dressed up as a queen, blessing her subjects, during a recent trip abroad?

Christmas trees trimmed with strings of fresh popcorn and cranberries. Golden angels made from wax and diapers. Talking to the animals—often having deep conversations with them. (It is said that she is still fluent in both dog and cat.) These speak to the traditions and talents of My Mom.

My Mom taught me to have a generous heart and to think of others first. And after each holiday, it was My Mom who taught me lessons about gratitude as she made sure every thank you note was written.

My Mom rarely thought of herself first. It is said that a person’s true character comes out when tested by fire. Even when she broke her leg so severely many years ago, she was more concerned about the people helping her than about her own condition. She did not want them to get wet or muddy. My Mom has passed the test. And I want to be just like her.

So, with tears in my eyes and love in my heart, I write this tribute to My MomBetty Eckerson—the most giving mom around.

Copyright © 2004 by Chuck Eckerson. All rights reserved. Used with permission.