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 James Quady from her daughter, Kit Coons:

Daughters and Dads…what a combination. I gained much from that relationship and didn’t even realize it. Dads just kind of do what “Dads do” and often go unnoticed. For this brief moment I want to take special notice, I want to say thank you to my Dad.

As if Dads don’t have enough to do, it seems that they also have to come up with those great family outings. Each Dad has his own way of providing his family with those special memories. Ours centered around places we went or things we ate. (My personal favorite being the later!)

Most all the places we went were close to water. From fishing for sunfish “up north” to picnicking and later sailing at Lake Independence, to swimming in our own back yard. We were always getting wet. Even when we had the pop-up camper we set it up at the far end of the pool. Very convenient for those who couldn’t quite make it through the whole night without their own bed.

Then there was the great “Quady Olympics” held at Windy Willow Farm and the “Zucchini Open” that drew tennis stars from miles around. The most unusual event to take place poolside was a special day between Dads and Daughters, too. I’m referring to the day you had to give me into another man’s care—my wedding.

When you weren’t busy coming up with something fun to do, you were cooking up something good to eat. The delights I remember best were Root Beer floats, using Dad’s Root Beer of course, that Coke machine you had in the garage, a child’s dream come true, and the recipe that has passed on from Father to Daughter—chicken wings.

You always did your best to keep us busy having fun and full of special treats, but you gave me more important things as well. We “middle kids” maintain that life is tougher for us, but sharing that distinction with you was fun. You also gave me a sense of security, because I knew that you were always close by if I needed you. Lastly, I think I got my easygoing nature from you. With four women in the house you did your share of rolling with the punches and I’m pretty good at taking what comes my way too.

I could go on listing the things you did to give of yourself to make me happy, but I’m sure I would still miss some. Like I said in the beginning of this letter those are all the things “Dads do” because they love their children. I guess each one doesn’t really have to be singled out. Taken all together, they represent a life time of giving, providing, and caring for the ones he loves. I’m just so thankful that I experienced that giving, providing and caring from you…my Dad.

Tribute to Catherine Quady from her daughter, Kit Coons:

I’ve heard it said that you never really appreciate your mother until you have your own children. Then you experience first hand the pain of childbirth, the sleepless nights, the hopes and dreams, the love and sacrifice. As you watch them learn, grow and make mistakes, you remember the one who has done all this before…the one who did it for you…your Mom. This letter of appreciation is dedicated to that person in my life, Catherine Brommell Quady.

Even though I don’t remember all those things you did for me, I know you did them. I’m sure I kept you up many a sleepless night, drove you crazy crawling all over the house, and never tired of teasing my sisters. All those things that had to be done to keep me safe and happy were done by you. Each time I see one of my friends care for their children I think of the many hours that you spent meeting my needs.

The desire to give of oneself must be at the heart of motherhood. To help shape a person for a future that has so many possibilities. In countless ways I can see your shaping in my life. There are the little things, like the way I wash and dry the pewter immediately after a meal, and there are the more important things, like your high value of education that helped motivate my teaching degree. Many times when I’m doing something I’ll stop and think, I do this just like Mom would. We are more alike than it may seem.

There are three special ways that I can daily see your shaping of me. Each one has become a part of who I am; these gifts hold special meaning for me because they were given by you. The first one goes way back to the very beginning when you gave me your name. Me-Me, you, and me all with the same name. That name gave me a special identity as I grew up and is treasured by me as an adult.

The second one has to do with making life fun. Some of my fondest memories were holiday times. You took every excuse to make a day special; any occasion would do. From Memorial Day, to Valentines Day, to Christmas, even Groundhog Day was a reason to have something out of the ordinary. My favorites were finding the Easter basket in the oven, “Don’t let all that chocolate melt” and looking in our Christmas stockings, “Let’s see an apple, an orange, some nuts and oh boy something special in the toe.” Then there was the Halloween you came home from work with that mask on your face…that was a real treat!

The last area is a talent that even my friends have benefited from. Frequently I get asked, “Kit, what do you think I should do with this room?” or, “Kit, what colors do you think would look good with this chair?” I never realized I had a talent in this area until all my friends kept asking for my advice. It didn’t take me as long however, to realize where I learned it. Your house has always been a show place. Each room was done with a decorator’s touch. It was warm and friendly, with style. A great place to grow up.

As I said in the beginning of this letter I wanted to show my appreciation to you in a special way; a way you could enjoy again and again. I regret that I never showed my thanks when you probably needed it the most. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a number of years for the significance of all you’ve been given to sink in. Those years are behind me. Now I want to spend my time expressing and enjoying the gratitude I feel for the one who gave me so much….my Mom.

Copyright © 2004 by Kit Coons. All rights reserved. Used with permission.