From Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul

Apology to a Child

By the time that you can read this
You may not know me well
But then again, we may be close
You can never really tell.

You used to call me “Daddy”
I used to hold you tight
I used to bathe you every day
And tuck you in at night.

I should have held your Mommy more
We should have sat and talked
The love grew cold, the words got hot
And then one day I walked.

I cried the night I left you all
I cried again today
It seems sometimes that’s all I’ve done
Since that night I went away.

I hope you know I love you
Though I wasn’t always there
I think about you constantly
And you’re always in my prayers.

I hope someday you’ll understand
That this thing hurt me, too
I hope you’ll know, I always have
And always will love you.

Last night I drove to where you live
I saw your bedroom light
I sat and watched and thought of you
Until the sky grew bright.

I’m not the man I used to be
I’ve learned a lot since then
I wish that I could turn back time
And live with you again.

But I can’t change the things I’ve done
Or take back things I’ve said
All I can do is write these words
While lying here in bed.

I hope that when you read this
You will know this one thing’s true
That no one else in this whole world
Means more to me than you.

Ron Wutka
For Daniel, Jacob and Rebekah

More stories from our partners