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 Ron and Cleve Boehi on their 40th wedding anniversary, from their son Dave:
Dad and Mom:
A few weeks ago I was putting Missy to bed, and she let out her normal stream of bedtime complaints: “Why do I have to go to bed so early?”…”Bethany is still up!”…”Julie and Savannah are still outside playing!”…”I never get to do what I want!”
I told her that she needs more sleep than her sister, and even her friends. But, naturally, she didn’t agree: “I’m not sleepy!”…”You treat me like a baby!”
And suddenly my mind raced back in time, and I could picture me as a child, making the same complaints to you…and once again I understood you just a little more. Just as Merry and I know what’s best for Bethany and Missy, you knew what was best for Dave and Dee Dee.
I am now in my 11th year of parenting, and you have just begun your 40th. As I raise my daughters, I find myself often saying or thinking, “Some day they will thank me for this…some day they will realize that I was right to send them to bed “so early” and to make them eat vegetables and to discipline them when they are disobedient.
It occurred to me that you had the same thoughts as you were raising me: “Some day Dave will thank us for this!” Well, that some day has arrived. As a tribute to you on your 40th wedding anniversary, I want to thank you for your years of love and sacrifice, for the great job you did in raising two kids who turned out pretty good.
First of all, and perhaps most important, I want to thank you for your marriage. You have made your relationship work for 40 years, and this has given your children and grandchildren an example to follow and a continuing rock of security. I hope that I will enjoy being with Merry in our future years as much as you enjoy being with each other.
Dad, there are many things I can honor you for: your integrity as a businessman, your provision for our family over the years, your help and support for relatives when they have been in need, your ability to listen and see where people are coming from in times of conflict, your wise counsel, and so much more. The older I grow, the more I see parts of you in me. Thanks for releasing me to live on my own as a man, while also offering help and advice as a father whenever appropriate.
Mom, when I was a baby you decided that you wanted to stop working and be a full-time mother. Perhaps there was more to the decision than that, but I do know this: as a result, you were there… to love and teach and train us…to care for us in time of sickness…to help us with homework and school projects…to take me to school functions, cross country meets and Boy Scout campouts…and so many other times. In my mind I can still picture the day you met me at the bus stop on Cherry Drive—I think I was in the first grade—and you said you had a “surprise” for me to see, and it turned out to be a tiny kitten peering out of a box. You were there, even for small moments like that.
Today I look at myself, Mom, and I’m amazed at how much of what I am today is the result of being your son. From you I inherited a love for the arts—for music, for paintings, for books and movies. I can’t help but think that those things were influential in helping me decide to become a writer.
There are many things I should thank both of you for, but I would like to highlight just one: You were committed to being our parents, and to creating good memories for Dee Dee and I. When I think back on my years of growing up in Eugene, Oregon, here’s what stands out:
All those great trips we took: To the Grand Canyon, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, and the big three-week marathon to Florida, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Gettysburg, New York City, Mystic seaport, Boston and Detroit (did I miss anything?).
The weeks we would spend during the summers at Blue Lake. For some reason the thing I remember most is all those hours playing cards with Mom in the trailer.
The two vacation homes at Mercer Lake and Black Butte, two of my favorite places in the world. Who could list all the great memories from those two places? I think the best thing was just having a place where we all enjoyed going as a family, where we could swim and ride bikes and ski and fish and play “May I.”
All the birthday parties Mom gave me. I especially remember my 16th birthday…sitting on the lawn at the Mercer Lake house shooting my slingshot…Mom telling me that she could still see me as a 5-year-old, fulfilling my vow to learn to tie my shoes…and the picnic that night at Devils Elbow State Park with Grandma Boehi and the Loomis family.
Coming home from college after my junior year, and Dad asking me to go get a can of food in the garage, and finding an early graduation present—that yellow Plymouth Duster with a huge ribbon tied around it!
Those nervous times when I learned to drive, barely missing parked cars as we drove home from church. I don’t think Mom was able to drive with me after that, at least not until I finally got to take a driver’s education class at school.
All the times we visited grandparents. You always made sure we had special times with them, and I’m glad you made your parents such a priority in all our lives.
I have two other, very special memories:
My graduation from college, and Dad coming out for the ceremony and to drive back to Oregon with me. Looking back, Dad, I wish that we had made the trip longer and perhaps headed east or north first before driving west to Oregon!
Sitting in a motel room with Mom after Grandpa Pete died, and helping plan the memorial service. I remember your concern, Mom, that the service needed to honor Pete, and Dad wasn’t in LaPine yet, and the pastor at the church didn’t seem to know what to do, and something had to be done. Up to that moment I hadn’t wanted to say anything publicly at the service, but suddenly I knew that I needed to be willing to take some leadership and help set the right tone. It was great to be able to step in and help you, Mom.
These are the types of memories I carry with me—the memories that helped make me what I am today, the memories you gave me.
Thanks so much for being such great parents. And thanks for what your 40 years of marriage have meant to all of us.
Tribute to Ron and Cleve Boehi from their daughter, Denise:
Forty years ago, when you were united in marriage, you embarked upon the biggest commitment two people can make to each other. You committed to a lifetime of devotion to yourselves, to the two families that merged and to the family you were about to create. You married young and started your family right away, and it was your love and commitment to each other that laid the foundation for a very loving and secure family.
As I reflect back upon these years, I truly believe your union has been blessed from the beginning and continues to be so today. I am so proud of you as my parents—for your undivided devotion to your family and for the fact that you’ve had such a loving marriage.
Now that I’m a wife and mother, I realize that parenting and maintaining a strong marriage requires hard work. As I write this and think back, I don’t remember you two having any fights! Marriage and disagreements go hand in hand, and if you had any you obviously kept them from Dave and me.
Dad, you’ve always been a hardworking and highly respected man. You’ve been dedicated to your career and to community involvement, but most important to your family. Because of your success, you have always provided for all of us with great abundance, and you have encouraged us along the way into becoming responsible adults.
You’ve always been there for me, generous with your love, support, encouragement and guidance. You were also my role model as to the type of man I wanted to marry—and I found that type of man in Dave Munson. Aside from the same career, I wanted someone fun loving, honest, well-respected in the community and among friends, handy around the house, outgoing and, most important, dedicated to providing the best for his family. I love you for being my guide.
Mom, in so many ways I see my life patterned after yours. I find myself trying to raise Chris and Jessica the same way you raised us. Over the years you’ve indirectly taught me valuable parenting skills. I feel so fortunate to be a housewife such as you were and being able to be at home with the kids, carting them around to their many activities!
You and Dad provided so many wonderful experiences for us—the summer homes…traveling…sports…many gatherings with friends and family…and a solid church life. From all of these experiences and many others, I was finally able to grow into a well-adjusted, confident and happy wife and mother. You stuck with me through good times and bad, always guiding me in the right direction. I’m very happy with my life and I have you both to thank. Without your love, guidance and the many opportunities you provided, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
It almost seems as if our lives have gone a full circle, with this little bit of heaven at Mercer Lake. It brings back so many wonderful memories of growing up and coming here for weekends and vacations. Our family has had countless wonderful experiences at this lake, experiences which I believe have kept us close. I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve build your dream home here. And I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy bringing Chris and Jessie here to experience those same types of memories. I feel like I’m reliving my childhood through them.
Thank you for being such loving parents. Thank you for being so committed to each other and showing us all how valuable a loving marriage can be. Thank you for being so generous with your resources. Thank you for being such loving and devoted grandparents.
Most important, congratulations on 40 years of marriage and parenthood!
Your devoted and loving daughter,
Copyright © 1993 by Dave Boehi and Denise Munson. All rights reserved. Used with permission.