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 Stanley Overby, Jr., from his sons, Spencer:

A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail… my Dad is everything a dad should be and then some.

Dear Dad,

I believe that something store bought is not worth half as much as things made from the heart. So for your 75th birthday I sit here and recall all the things you have done for me, and things we have done together, and I find the list really long.

When I close my eyes I can still see…you caring and taking Tina to the vet…shaking and making popcorn…the family car trips (and you dropping me off at Aunt Gene’s…me throwing up in your new ’66 LTD, and you yelling “get that kid out of my car”)…going to work with you at the factory…riding in a big truck…learning how to have a tab and order Shirley Temples…never spanking me…learning how to play golf as a family…breaking Steve’s black stick horse…whisker rubs…sharing anchovy pizza…building slot cars with a broken hand…stripping furniture and finding coins…making furniture in the garage…getting a trash can for Christmas…taking care of your mother…building a fort…ripping up Steve’s new tennis shoes because Mom was crying…picking up all the bats and leaving Little League practice…going to Promise Keepers with Steve and I, and celebrating our Lord together…being the best man in my wedding…teaching me that nothing comes between you and your wife…I could go on and on. It’s funny, the older you get the more vivid your childhood memories become. The older I get the more I long for those carefree childhood days when all was good and the only worry was if Dad was going to beat me at cribbage after dinner.

I can never remember a time that I needed anything. You have been a wonderful provider for the family and took such good care of us. None of us wanted for anything. I just wanted to let you know that you are thought of many times a day and will have a permanent place in my heart that only you can have forever—and I thank the Lord he gave me to you.

Dad, this is just to say “THANK YOU” for always being there for me. You have stood beside me in everything I have done and I really appreciate that. No matter what decisions I’ve make in my life you may not have totally agreed, but in the end you would always support them. You and mom did a great job raising us and I hope that you are as proud of the way we turned out as I have always been of you. Thank you so much for being the type of father that I could always depend on and be proud of.

Dad, to me, you are the best dad in the world and I want you to know that.

I love you, Spencer

Tribute to Stanley Overby, Jr., from his son, Steve:

Dear Dad,

I appreciate that you have always been there for us. You have been a faithful provider to our family and a committed husband of one wife. In spite of the culture we live in, you have stuck with our mother. You have been faithful to her, honored and cherished her.

I have found memories of our times together. At dust blown Little League games hearing the booming voice over the PA… “Decker on deck and Rose in the hole.” Playing endless games of Yatzee and Bus Stop. Watching you build things—slot cars, shelves in the garage, grape stake fences, and cutting fabric from shredded upholstery patterns I just striped from an aging sofa. I don’t know how you did it, but everything always fit together perfectly.

As a disciplinary you were firm, but always fair. We razz you about the broken stick horse. But we forget to fill in the rest of the story…that when you asked us to do something you meant for us to do it. You demonstrated and were consistent with the principle that disobedience has consequences. But you administered it with love.

Thank you for how you have demonstrated perseverance through life’s challenges. You have been an excellent example of how business dealings, that were out of your control, didn’t have to be a major derailment, but only a changing of tracks to a new destination. Through that season of our life as a family you taught me an important principle… “Never give up.”

You have demonstrated that one can achieve their dreams. I think it is a man thing to brag about your dad. But achieving your goal of being the best at archery has had long term implications. No, it isn’t the awards that are off in a box tarnishing (assuming mom hasn’t thrown them away), nor the notoriety (you never did make it on the Letterman Show). The long-term effect is the character principle of having the initiative and perseverance to make them happen. That is what deserves the bragging.

You have also given us the freedom to achieve our dreams. Whether it was building forts in the back yard, model airplanes, tennis, or police explorers, you gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams. Even career changes of going into campus ministry, a complete change of direction from my law enforcement ambitions, were not confronted with opposition, but were encouraged because that is what I wanted to do with my life. Thank you for allowing that to happen. It is a decision I have never regretted.

Thank you for being the best DAD you could be. I appreciate you, honor you and respect you. I love you.


Copyright © 2004 by Spencer Overby. All rights reserved. Used with permission.