By Dale Gaudet
Even in my world of loneliness and misery, I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering you're being forced to deal with. My only wish is that I could be out there to look after you, as you have done so many
times for me.
I know we had our differences in the past and often times, tempers got the best of us. I guess when you're young, you think the whole world is at your fingertips and advice is the last thing I looked for. But still, you stood fast with patience and guidance. Now, when you need me most, the only comfort I can offer is in my prayers.
I'm sorry, Dad -- I'm sorry for the shame and embarrassment my being here has caused to our family name. I'm sorry for the extra burden on you and Mom over the years. But most of all, I'm sorry we were so distant. Was it only yesterday I was a kid growing up? Was it only yesterday you were spoon-feeding Melissa? That was almost 15 years ago. Now I'm a dad. The only difference is, I'm trying to be a father from behind bars.
It's not easy, Dad. I'm missing all the best years of their lives. Visits are always so short, and my letters can hardly fill the void in their lives. I miss them, Dad. And I miss you and Mom and the rest of the family. But no matter how rough things got for me these past couple of years, you never turned your back on me. That means so very much to me! I hope I can be half the father to Melissa and Stacy that I now realize you were to me. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I love you. I suppose we never got around to saying that face to face.
I'm Sorry Dad. Reprinted by permission of Dale Gaudet. © 1995 Dale Gaudet from the book “Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul.”
Dale Gaudet has been a Toastmaster for many years and was one of the first inmates to ever receive the Distinguished Toastmasters award. He enjoys the outdoors and is active in Catholic prison ministry as a peer minister. ©2011 Laura and Tom Lagana
www.TomLagana.com ~ TomLagana@yahoo.com
This column was originally printed in the February 13, 2011 - February 26, 2011 edition.